Donald Trump on Slowing Coronavirus Testing: ‘I Don’t Kid’

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Air Force One on his arrival Saturday, June 20, 2020, to Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Okla. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
White House Photo by Tia Dufour

President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday defended his comments about slowing coronavirus testing, noting the growing number of cases of the virus was a result of increased testing.

“I don’t kid, let me just tell you, let me just make it clear,” Trump replied when asked about his remarks at a campaign rally on Saturday that he wanted to slow coronavirus testing.

During the rally, the president said, “I said to my people slow the testing down, please,” a comment seized and criticized by cable news.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday the president’s comment was in jest to highlight the hypocrisy of the media.

But on Tuesday, Trump reaffirmed the high case numbers were a result of the increased testing as he left the White House to visit the southern border.

“We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world, we test better than anyone in the world,” he said.

He noted the United States had more than 25 million coronavirus tests performed, which far surpassed other countries.

“We test, we’re going to have more cases, by having more cases it sounds bad but actually what it is, we’re finding more people,” Trump said.

The president said the United States continued to have a very low mortality rate, despite the spike in cases.

“Here’s what I say, testing is a double-edged sword, in one way it tells you you have cases, in another way you find out where the cases are and you do a good job,” Trump said.

The president also expressed his frustrations with how the media covered the administration’s handling of the virus.


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