President Donald Trump on Saturday bemoaned the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States — and falsely blamed the mammoth uptick on testing itself.
“If we didn’t test so much and so successfully, we would have very few cases,” Trump said, adding that the United States’ “success” in testing “gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES.”
….In a certain way, our tremendous Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES. In the meantime, Deaths and the all important Mortality Rate goes down. You don’t hear about that from the Fake News, and you never will. Anybody need any Ventilators???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2020
This is hardly the first time Trump has blamed COVID-19 testing itself for the increasing numbers of confirmed infections. But it’s a junk talking point.
In addition to the case count increasing to record daily highs, the percentage of positive test results has also increased since mid-June.
When Trump attempted on Thursday to make the same point about test capacity being responsible for the swelling case numbers, reporters pointed to his own “testing czar,” Brett Giroir.
Giroir testified Thursday that while more testing leads generally to more discovered cases, “we do believe this is a real increase in cases, because the percent positives are going up.”
Also on Thursday, Trump said “the crisis is being handled.”
But for three days in a row, starting on July 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has counted at least 50,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases daily, a grim record in the United States.
Trump is set for another massive Independence Day event in Washington, D.C. on Saturday — the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, has encouraged city residents not to attend due to the risk of spreading COVID-19. But she can’t cancel Trump’s expansive plans: The party will be held on the National Mall, which is federal property.