TULSA, Okla. (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s asked his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because robust testing turns up too many cases of COVID-19.
Trump told supporters at his campaign rally that the U.S. has tested 25 million people, far more than any other country. The “bad part,” Trump said, is that widespread testing leads to logging more cases of the virus.
“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.’ They test and they test.”
Trump opted to hold his first rally in 110 days despite concerns from local health officials that it could lead to further spread of the virus in Tulsa. Most of those in attendance declined to wear a mask.
The outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the U.S., and nearly a half-million worldwide, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, though the real numbers are believed to be higher.
The number of newly confirmed cases per day has risen from about 21,400 two weeks ago to 23,200, according to an Associated Press analysis. And in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona — states that loosened their stay-at-home restrictions early — daily deaths have been quietly rising since early June.
Rising case numbers can partially be explained by the wider availability of testing. Mild cases, previously undetected because of limits on who could be tested, are now showing up in the numbers.