Donald Trump suggested that the practice of widespread testing for the coronavirus is “overrated,” despite medical experts saying the nation needs to drastically ramp up its testing capabilities in order to widely reopen the economy.
Trump made the remarks during a visit to a medical equipment distribution center in Pennsylvania on Thursday, a visit where he announced that the United States had just topped 10 million overall tests given since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have the best testing in the world,” Trump said, via The Hill. “Could be that testing’s, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is overrated.”
“But we have the greatest testing in the world, but what we want is we want to get rid of this thing. That’s what we want.”
Trump went on to say that the high volume of tests given is the real reason for the high number of cases in the United States, suggesting that other countries may have higher numbers if they were to conduct more tests.
“We have more cases than anybody in the world, but why? Because we do more testing,” Trump said. “When you test, you have a case. When you test you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense. We test much more.”
Trump’s recent boasts about the number of coronavirus tests have been disputed by critics who noted that the United States lags behind a number of other countries in the number of tests distributed per 1,000 people. As CNN reported, as Trump held a daily coronavirus briefing standing in front of a large sign that read “AMERICA LEADS THE WORLD IN TESTING,” studies showed that the United States ranked No. 22 in the world in the number of tests per 1,000 people.
The report noted that public health experts say the U.S. is not conducting enough tests to safely reopen the economy, including the Harvard Global Health Institute that said close to 900,000 tests should be given every day by May 15. Trump said this week that the U.S. is conducting close to 300,000 tests every day.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump has previously said that more testing would make the country look bad because it would cause the number of people found to be positive to rise as well. He also suggested that some of the stringent restrictions put in place in states across the country in an effort to slow the spread of the virus may actually be intended to hurt him politically and ding his chances of winning the election in November.