January 27, 2021

Trump on coronavirus: ‘If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.’ Why he’s dangerously wrong.

As coronavirus cases continue to climb in more than 20 states, raising fears of a second wave of hospitalizations and deaths, some politicians have taken to waving away the worrisome news with a rudimentary, reassuring explanation.

Of course the number of COVID-19 cases is going up, they say. That’s what happens when you test more people: You find more infections.

On Monday, President Trump added his voice to this soothing chorus. “Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases,” Trump tweeted in the morning. “Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!”

“If we stop testing right now,” the president added during an event for seniors at the White House, “we’d have very few cases, if any.”

And according to a report in the New York Times, Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s argument during a call Monday with governors, urging them “to continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of the increase in testing” in order to “encourage people with the news that we’re safely reopening the country.”

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