President Donald Trump told White House reporters today that the United States’ COVID-19 case numbers are due to its high rate of testing. The Independent reported that the president dismissed the uptick in infections and hospitalizations in the country, seeming to blame them on testing.
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”
Trump’s comments came during an event for seniors at the White House. His remarks come as several states experienced record-high levels of new cases late last week and over the weekend. This is a sentiment that President Trump has shared before, although he has also noted that the country has completed more tests than any other country in the world. Currently, the U.S. has had at least 2.1 million positive tests and 115,000 deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus. Trump seems to blame these figures on the high numbers of residents receiving tests for the illness. So far, the country has conducted about 24 million tests.
Trump explained that the country had a few places where the virus seems to be on the rise, and he noted that it would be taken care of, but he did not explain the plan for how to cool down any hot spots.
“We have hot spots as I said you might [say],” the president said, “we’ll take care of the hot spots.”
At the same event, Vice President Mike Pence also blamed the increased number of positive cased on increased testing. Pence also said that the U.S. is successfully putting the coronavirus pandemic “farther and farther in the past.” However, some areas have also experienced an increase in the positive percentage of tests, and nationally, the country experienced a slight increase in the percentage of positive tests, the CDC reported. So far, there has not been an increase in deaths nationally.
The vice president did offer something a solution. According to Bloomberg, Pence said in a call to governors on Monday that additional healthcare workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might go to areas that experience spikes to help combat the virus.
Despite the increase in cases and in percentage of positive tests, Trump indicated that he still intends to hold his scheduled campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was initially scheduled for Friday evening. However, because of the date — Juneteenth — and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the Trump campaign chose to move the rally to Saturday. Tulsa City-County Health Department director Dr. Bruce Dart warned that the rally could lead to overwhelming the hospitals in the area.