Donald Trump said that he asked his people to slow down on the testing for COVID-19 at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday evening. The comment received a lot of criticism because at least 120,000 Americans have lost their lives. In contrast, countless others have experienced serious health consequences, but White House adviser Peter Navarro explained that the comment was a joke. However, Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, took to Twitter to denounce the president’s so-called joke.
“More than 120,000 Americans have died. Tens of millions are unemployed. Families are witnessing their loved one’s last moments by FaceTime. Trump’s response: slow down testing to hide infection rates. Trump’s deadly incompetence is no joke.”
In the tweet, Schiff, who played a visible role in the House’s impeachment of the president, also retweeted a clip from the president’s rally that journalist Aaron Rupar posted yesterday. In the video, President Trump addressed the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States as well as the amount of testing the country has done.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases,” noted Trump.
“So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down please!'”
Here's Trump downplaying the coronavirus as "sniffles" pic.twitter.com/lKZwqOsqwG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 21, 2020
More than 9,300 Twitter accounts hit the like button on the congressman’s tweet, and at least 3,400 retweeted his sentiments about the president’s words from the Tulsa rally, which was his first campaign rally since March. At least 850 also replied to Schiff’s post.
Many who replied agreed with Schiff that the president’s words were not at all funny, and they also pointed the finger at Trump for failing to create a national testing policy to help identify and isolate cases of the novel coronavirus. More than a few of those who responded wanted to see Trump face more severe consequences for how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the congressman also had plenty of detractors who replied to his strongly-worded message. Some Twitter users asked Schiff if he needed a sarcasm sign, and they seemed to say that they felt Trump had been joking about slowing down the testing in the U.S. Others claimed that the congressman lies, and a few called him “Pinocchio Schiff” and showed a cartoon with his nose growing.
Although the president’s advisor called his words from last night tongue in cheek, it matches what Trump has said over the past few weeks. He recently told reporters that if the U.S. stopped testing, it would have fewer cases of the novel coronavirus. When he made those comments, they did not seem to be in jest.