- “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, actually,” the president said during a roundtable event for seniors.
- His comments come as states across the country particularly in the South and the West see spikes in new coronavirus cases as they ease social distancing measures and begin reopening their economies.
- According to NPR , there was a 185% increase in new cases in Oklahoma as of Monday morning, compared to two weeks ago.
- South Carolina saw a 156% increase, and Arizona saw a 145% increase.
- Arkansas, Oregon, Florida, and Nevada all had increases of more than 100% compared to two weeks ago, while Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Utah had increases between 39% and 60%.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories .
President Donald Trump said Monday that there would be very few cases of coronavirus if the US stopped its testing and contact tracing.null
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, actually,” the president said during a roundtable event for seniors.
This isn’t the first time Trump has remarked on how less testing would result in fewer publicly reported cases.
“So the media likes to say we have the most cases, but we do, by far, the most testing. If we did very little testing, we wouldn’t have the most cases. So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad,” Trump said during a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds last month.
“For instance, they would say we have more than China. I don’t think so. We have more than other countries. I don’t think so. But by doing all of the testing … we’re going to have more cases because we do more testing. Otherwise, you don’t know if you have a case. I think that’s a correct statement,” Trump added.
The president expressed a similar sentiment in March, telling Fox News that he didn’t want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US.
“I likethe numbers being where they are,” Trump said at the time. “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”about:blank
His comment on Monday comes as multiple states across the country are seeing spikes in confirmed cases as they relax social distancing guidelines and begin reopening their economies.
To date, more than 2.1 million people in the US have tested positive for the virus, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 116,000 Americans have died from the disease, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March.
New York, Washington, and California were initially hotspots in the US outbreak, but the states saw a gradual decline in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths as their respective governors shut down the economies and imposed strict stay-at-home orders for all non-essential employees.
Now, as states ease lockdown measures and reopen businesses, public health experts warn that an increase in confirmed cases will follow. The spike will also likely be exacerbated due to nationwide protests against racism and police brutality following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in police custody.
There’s been a significant increase in new infections across the country over the last two weeks, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West .null
States like Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, and others have seen an uptick in new cases. According to NPR , there was a 185% increase in new cases in Oklahoma as of Monday morning, compared to two weeks ago. South Carolina saw a 156% increase, and Arizona saw a 145% increase.
Arkansas, Oregon, Florida, and Nevada all had increases of more than 100% compared to two weeks ago, while Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Utah had increases between 39% and 60%.
Rural states could be particularly hard hit if new cases go up because rural communities have, on average, an older population, more underlying health conditions, and fewer economic resources than their urban counterparts, Carrie Henning-Smith, the deputy director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, told CBC Radio .
Rural areas are also more likely to be home to facilities that could become coronavirus hotspots, like nursing homes, meat-packing plants, and prisons, Henning-Smith said.
Meanwhile, Trump will hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday during which wearing masks will be ” optional .”null
“Masks will be optional and people will be able to wear them if they bring them or want them,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News on Monday morning. “The American people can make decisions for themselves, we’re all pretty informed about Covid at this point.”
The Trump campaign is expecting around 19,000 people to congregate in the Bank of Oklahoma Center, which is an indoor facility. The president also said Monday that he expects about 40,000 people to gather in the convention hall outside the arena for the rally. There are reportedly no plans to facilitate or enforce social distancing