The President continued to downplay the threat posed by the COVID-19 epidemic Tuesday, falsely saying that testing for the disease was available for all who needed it and asserting that the novel coronavirus would “go away” with time.
“It will go away,” Trump told reporters of the virus, after a meeting with congressional Republicans Tuesday. “Just stay calm, it will go away.”
That clashes with what doctors and scientists say about COVID-19. While China and South Korea have shown some success in containing the disease and gradually decreasing the number of new cases confirmed each day, the count of confirmed cases continues to accelerate elsewhere around the world, including in the United States.
Some have speculated that warmer weather will help contain the virus, but public health officials have warned that it’s not clear this is the case, nor that COVID-19 will become a seasonal presence like the existing seasonal flu.
“Be calm, it’s really working out,” Trump added, after saying he wanted to “protect” the shipping, cruise and airline industries.
Separately on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that “when people need a test, they can get a test.”
But that clashes with another stubborn reality of the Trump administration’s response: There isn’t enough testing capacity to keep up with the virus’ spread.
“Any doctor who thinks a patient should be tested should be getting tested,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told USA Today’s editorial board Monday. “That’s not happening right now.”
Trump has been consistent with this false claim. On Friday, while touring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he again incorrectly said, “anybody that needs a test gets a test.”