The Independent reports:
Donald Trump has told supporters at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he asked for the rate of coronavirus testing to be slowed down because there were so many positive cases being found in the United States. Repeating a point he has previously made, he suggested that the reason the US is leading the world in the number of infections and deaths is because so much testing has been done.
He said: “Testing is a double-edged sword. We’ve tested now 25 million people. It’s probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany’s done a lot, South Korea’s done a lot – they call me and say ‘The job you’re doing.’ Here’s the bad part: when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please.”
NBC News reports:
He went on to joke that public health officials are conducting so many tests “that people don’t even know what’s going on.”
“We got another one over here,” he said, pointing into the crowd. “The young man is 10 years old. He’s got the sniffles. He’ll recover in about 15 minutes. That’s a case!”
A senior White House official told NBC News that Trump “was clearly speaking in jest to call out the media’s absurd coverage” of the ongoing pandemic. “We are leading the world in testing, and we are proud to have conducted 25 million-plus tests,” the official said.
The Associated Press reports:
Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement that Trump’s remarks were “outrageous” and that they would be remembered “long after tonight’s debacle of a rally.”
“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,” she said.
“This virus has killed nearly 120,000 Americans and cost tens of millions their jobs, in large part because this president could not and would not mobilize testing as quickly as we needed it. To hear him say tonight that he has ordered testing slowed — a transparent attempt to make the numbers look better — is appalling,” she added.
Speed up the testing.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 21, 2020
Trump just admitted that he told his team to slow down the testing.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 21, 2020
Trump calls coronavirus ‘kung flu’ at campaign rally and said he has asked his administration to slow down COVID-19 testing. pic.twitter.com/4jd0RQ4gis
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 21, 2020
Trump admitted to his rally audience tonight that he told his team to slow down COVID-19 testing for the American people because new infections were harming perceptions of his performance. How could any American support such brazen, harmful acts self-interest against the country?
— Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) June 21, 2020
BREAKING: Trump just said he told his people to slow down coronavirus testing in America, because it was increasing the number of known infected. This is a coverup. This is criminal.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 21, 2020
I’m not a doctor or lawyer, but it sure seems like a “president” admitting he intentionally slowed down testing of the most deadly disease we’ve seen is a pretty big fucking crime.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 21, 2020