Trump Walks Back Huge Goal For Tests After His Own Testing Chief Said It Was Impossible

President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters as Assistant Secretary for Health admiral Brett Giroir looks on during the daily briefing on COVID-19 on April 20, 2020.(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retracted his claim that the U.S. will soon be able to administer 5 million COVID-19 tests every day after his own testing director on the White House task force, Admiral Brett Giroir, emphatically rejected the possibility of that goal.

“Somebody started throwing around five million,” Trump told reporters, referring to a Harvard University study that found that reopening the economy would only be feasible if the government were able to do at least five million tests daily by early June, and then ramp it up to 20 million tests each day by late July.

“I didn’t say 5 million,” Trump said, despite the fact that he had said exactly that the day before.

On Tuesday, Trump had told a reporter that “we’re going to be there very soon” when she asked if the U.S. would be able to carry out 5 million tests a day.

That was the same day Giroir told TIME that “there is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day, or even 5 million tests a day.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: