Key Words: Trump says coronavirus testing ‘overrated,’ claims fewer cases if no testing

Key Words

Many on social media pounce on president’s flawed logic

President Donald Trump speaks following a tour of medical supply distributor Owens and Minor Inc. in Allentown, Pa., on Thursday.


AFP/Getty Images

While health officials continue to stress the importance of testing as the key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested testing is “overrated.”


“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.”


— President Donald Trump

Speaking to employees at an Owens & Minor Inc.
OMI,
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medical-supply plant in Allentown, Pa., Trump said testing might be the problem.

“So we have the best testing in the world,” Trump said. “It could be the testing’s, frankly, overrated? Maybe it is overrated.”

The country has more than 1.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, but Trump said that’s only because the U.S. has carried out 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.”

Many on social media were quick to point out the obvious flaw in the president’s logic.

The U.S. has carried out nearly 10 million coronavirus tests, but health experts say hundreds of thousands more per day need to be conducted before it’s safe to reopen the economy. And while the U.S. has conducted the most tests worldwide by sheer numbers, more than 30 countries rank higher by per-capita testing.

In a statement late Thursday, Joe Biden’s campaign criticized Trump’s comments: “With his statement today, President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is more concerned with his poll numbers and his reelection than he is with safeguarding American lives and delivering real economic recovery — both of which every expert tells us can only happen with adequate testing capacity to track and stop this disease.”

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