You Won’t Believe What Donald Trump Just Said About Coronavirus Testing

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JournalistPresident Trump, you have said repeatedly that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing because the tests are increasing.

Asset: It is true.

Journalist: Do you recognize that this is also increasing for other reasons; for example, that it actually spreads? And what are you going to do to stop the spread?

Asset: Well, you know we have one of the lowest death rates in the world. If you know, [former Vice President Joe] Biden et [former President Barack] Obama has stopped testing; they just arrested him. You probably know that. I’m sure you don’t want to report it. But they stopped the tests. Right in the middle of it, they just said, “More tests” and on a problem far less than the problem we have, obviously regarding – it’s the worst thing that has happened since probably 1917. It’s a very bad one – all over the world. It’s 188 countries at the moment. But no, we are – we test more than anyone by far. And when you test, you create cases. So we created cases. I can tell you some countries, they test when someone enters a sick hospital or maybe enters a doctor’s office, but usually in a hospital. This is the test they do, so they don’t have a case, while we do – we have all of these cases. So, you know, it’s a double-edged sword.

Whoa boy.

There are so many things wrong. Let’s review.

1) The United States has the lowest “nowhere” death rate. In fact, according to data from Johns Hopkins, the benchmark for information on coronaviruses, the United States has the seventh highest mortality rate of any country. So here is.

2) The Obama administration has not just stopped testing H1N1. While the comparison, which Trump likes to make, between swine flu and Covid-19 is totally wrong (one has killed 12,000 Americans, the other has already killed more than 135,000), the president is also wrong in his facts. As CNN’s Holmes Lybrand wrote in March:

“The CDC’s 2009 H1N1 pandemic summary report describes how the tests were administered at the time. The virus was first detected in the United States on April 15. The CDC informed the World Health Organization of the first cases on April 18. A test to detect this strain of swine flu was developed by the CDC and authorized for use 10 days later, on April 28, and the CDC began shipping tests to the U.S. and worldwide on May 1 .

“Over the next four months, more than a million tests” have been shipped to 120 national laboratories and 250 international laboratories in 140 countries, “according to the CDC report.

“On May 18, 40 states were allowed to perform their own H1N1 tests in 2009, with eight states having multiple laboratories that can process the tests,” said the report. ”

3) You do not “create” cases by testing. The idea that tests somehow create cases rather than just identify them is truly remarkable. Of course, this is not the first time that Trump has argued that he is somewhat against transparency and testing – as it increases the number of coronavirus cases. Remember that since the beginning of March, Trump was opposed to American passengers exposed to the coronavirus on a ship docked in San Francisco getting off the ship.

“I would prefer people to stay, but I would go with them,” he said. “I told them to make the final decision. I prefer because I like the numbers to be where they are. I don’t need to double the numbers because of a ship that was not our fault. ”

4) The tests are do not the reason why we have more cases. As CNN’s Ryan Struyk noted on July 7, there was a 37% increase in average daily tests in the United States. During this same period, 152% increase in average daily cases. And, with cases that have increased even more in Florida, Texas and Arizona since July 7, this gap has only widened.

What Trump has been doing – and has been doing for months now – is to ignore the available data when it comes to confirmed tests and cases, as that does not fit his account. And whether you think the Obama administration handled the H1N1 flu crisis well or badly, it is irrelevant whether more widespread testing is the only reason we have seen such an increase in coronavirus lately. (As I noted above, the tests have not increased as much as the number of cases.)

All of this is a blame transfer and a distraction from Trump – plain and simple. He is wrong about the facts about the tests. Comparisons with what Obama has done with swine flu are useless because they do nothing to resolve the current crisis. The virus is not political. It infects Republicans and Democrats. Trump still hasn’t grasped this reality.

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