President Donald Trump has reiterated that it may only look like the United States has substantially more coronavirus cases than other countries because there is more testing.
Trump’s trade adviser had earlier insisted the American leader was only joking when he urged his admin to slow down on the testing during a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. It was after he claimed the the US topping the infection rate tables was simply down to carrying out more tests.
But on Sunday, Trump tweeted defending the fact that the US rate of COVID-19 the country reached 2,279,879 infections and 119,969 deaths.
‘Our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced, that it makes us look like we have more cases, especially proportionally, than other countries,’ Trump tweeted just before 1am on Monday. ‘My message on that is very clear!’
President Trump on Sunday doubled down on why coronavirus cases are highest in the US
Trump tweeted defending the high number and said his previous message was ‘very clear’
It was after reported COVID-19 cases in the country reached 2,279,879 on Sunday evening
Trump tweeted that is made the country stand out ‘especially proportionally’ to other countries, as the number of COVID-related deaths reached 119,969
The above graph shows how coronavirus has escalated over time since the first US cases
Trump tweeted to his millions of followed after it emerged that Florida reported 4,049 new cases of COVID-19 Friday – the highest daily total yet in a state that has now seen a consistent resurgence since reopening.
The coronavirus outbreak continued its fevered escalation in Florida on Saturday, as Gov. Ron DeSantis again tried to calm fears over another record-breaking spike in infections since reopening restaurants, bars, gyms and other public places.
And in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona – states that loosened their stay-at-home restrictions early – daily deaths have been quietly rising since early June.
When announcing his Tulsa rally, Trump also previewed that he would be hosting more rallies soon in swing states of Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.
Across the United States there were 32,540 new infections on Sunday. But amid protests over racial injustice and his handling of coronavirus pandemic, Trump has focused on economic growth.
Again on Sunday he shifted attention to the reopened economy as he shared commentary from Fox News.
Commenting on Tammy Bruce and Steven Hilton saying: ‘His (President Trump’s) policies set a foundation that allowed us to survive the pandemic,’ he added: ‘True, we built something so strong that we are now setting economic growth records again – Jobs & Growth!!!’
On Sunday he shifted attention to the reopened economy as he shared commentary from Fox News
Donald Trump told the crowd at his comeback rally on Saturday night that he told his administration to slow down testing so the number of confirmed cases would be lowered
Peter Navarro asserted Sunday that Donald Trump was being ‘tongue-in-cheek’ when he claimed during his rally that he told his administration to cut down on coronavirus testing so US numbers would artificially be decreased.
During an interview with CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Navarro about the moment the president said during his rally Saturday night: ‘I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’
‘C’mon now, Jake, that was tongue-in-cheek,’ the White House trade adviser repeatedly told Tapper.
‘I don’t know that it was tongue-in-cheek at all,’ the host pushed back. ‘He has said similar things for months.’
Navarro, who claimed talking about coronavirus is ‘not in my lane,’ insisted that Tapper instead ask him about ‘serious issues.’
‘I think testing is a very serious issue. I’m not the one making jokes about it,’ Tapper asserted.
‘Come on. It was a light moment,’ Navarro shot back.
Trump told a cheering crowd in Tulsa, Oklahoma during his comeback rally Saturday night that he directed his administration to slow down testing for coronavirus.
He claimed the success in testing capabilities and availability is a ‘double-edged sword’ that has led to more cases being discovered than any other country is reporting.
White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro claimed Sunday morning that Donald Trump was being ‘tongue-in-cheek’ when he claimed he told his people to ‘slow down’ testing to artificially lower U.S. coronavirus numbers
During the rally, Trump said the U.S. has now tested 25 million people – far more than other countries.
The ‘bad part,’ Trump said, is that widespread testing leads to logging more cases of the virus.
‘When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please,’ the president said.
A White House official later told reporters that Trump was just joking and made the comment in jest.
‘He was obviously kidding. We are leading the world in testing and have conducted 25 million + in testing,’ the official said.
When asked about the moment, Navarro dismissed that the president was being serious.
Tapper countered: ‘I’m not sure that a deadly pandemic, where almost 120,000 Americans died, is really a good subject for a ‘light moment.”
But Navarro asserted the president is taking those deaths ‘absolutely seriously.’
Trump also ignited outrage by calling COVID-19 the ‘kung flu’, a racist term referencing its origins in China.
So far, more than 119,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 and more than 2.1 million have been infected. The image above shows Kim Desmond (left) getting swabbed for coronavirus at a testing site in Denver on Saturday
Trump opted to hold his first rally in 110 days despite concerns from local health officials that it could lead to further spread of the virus in Tulsa.
Most of those in attendance declined to wear a mask.
Rising case numbers in the U.S. can partially be explained by the wider availability of testing – especially compared to other countries. Mild cases, previously undetected because of limits on who could be tested, are now showing up in the numbers.
The campaign of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, released a statement on Saturday blasting the president for saying his administration slowed testing.
‘In an outrageous moment that will be remembered long after tonight’s debacle of a rally, President Trump just admitted that he’s putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people – even as we just recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in almost two months and 20 million workers remain out of work,’ campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said.
‘Trump’s catastrophic mismanagement of our nation’s response to the worst public health crisis in over 100 years began with ignoring countless warnings from his own officials and selling us out to the Chinese government for a hollow trade deal — and that mismanagement continues to this day as he continues to put his own political interests first while many states see spikes in deadly infections.’
She added: ‘To hear him say tonight that he has ordered testing slowed – a transparent attempt to make the numbers look better – is appalling.’