White House Official: Trump Was Just Joking About Stifling COVID Testing!

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Director of the National Trade Council Peter Navarro looks on as President Donald Trump meets with supply chain distributors in reference to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in the Cabine... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Director of the National Trade Council Peter Navarro looks on as President Donald Trump meets with supply chain distributors in reference to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in the Cabinet Room in the West Wing at the White House on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Photo by Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 21, 2020 11:30 a.m.
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WASHINGTON — White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says U.S. President Donald Trump was being “tongue in cheek” when he claimed at a campaign rally in Oklahoma that he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing.

Navarro said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump made the comment in a “light moment.”

During Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Trump explained that the “bad part” of widespread testing is that it leads to logging more virus cases. New cases have recently spiked in several U.S. states, but not just due to testing.

The United States has tested over 25 million people for the novel coronavirus. The country has reported more than 2.2 million confirmed cases and about 120,000 COVID-19 deaths. according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. The real numbers are believed to be higher.

In response to Trump’s remarks, Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden criticized Trump for putting politics ahead of the safety and health of Americans.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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