Riffing about the coronavirus during a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to reboot his reelection campaign, President Trump said he asked for less testing to track the coronavirus pandemic for fear the increase in positives might make him look bad. The White House quickly clarified that Trump was joking, though it’s the sort of thing the president has said in the past. (Remember this?)
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'”
"Here's the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you're gonna find more people, you're gonna find more cases. So I said to my people, 'slow the testing down please!'" — Trump pic.twitter.com/m5MOV9je70
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 21, 2020
A little later:
White House official says Trump was clearly joking. "He's never advised staff to slow testing. We are extremely proud of the 25 million tests we are conducting at a rapid pace." https://t.co/TLlZxtyvXo
— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) June 21, 2020
Our weak testing capability hamstrung the initial response to the coronavirus, and the country is still paying the price for it. As of Saturday, nearly 122,000 Americans have died in the pandemic. Joke’s on them, I guess.