Trump Buries Head In Sand, Again Blames… Tests For Showing Rise In COVID Cases

President Donald Trump looks on during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 24, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
July 4, 2020 3:58 p.m.
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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.”

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.

The President did not mention the pandemic in a speech Friday night in front of Mount Rushmore. Instead, he bashed what he called “far-left fascism” and made an appeal to aggrieved white people.

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.

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). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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