Donald Trump’s remark, during his first Presidential campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma amid the coronavirus pandemic, that he had asked officials to “slow the testing down” has sparked criticism from experts and his own staffers.
“Looking at it as a scoreboard is the wrong way to think about it,” The Washington Post quoted Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, as saying. “To think of it as something you can manipulate or slow down based on what the numbers look like speaks to a complete misunderstanding of what an infectious-disease response should be.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned Trump’s remarks in a statement Sunday. She said that the American people “are owed answers about why President Trump wants less testing.”
“Testing, tracing, treatment and social distancing are the only tools we have to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but President Trump orders his Administration to slow down the testing that saves lives,” Pelosi said in a statement.
While, his chief trade adviser Peter Navarro has called Trump’s comments “tongue-in-cheek”, another White House official has said that Trump was joking.
While addressing the thin crowd on Saturday (local time), Trump had said, “Here’s the bad part … when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people; you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please.”
According to Trump, 25 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in the US, which is why the total number of confirmed cases in the country is high.
According to the latest data by the Johns Hopkins University, the total number of coronavirus cases in US stands at 2,279,879 and a total of 119,969 people have succumbed to the disease so far.