Donald Trump said Saturday that he had asked his health authorities to slow the pace of Covid-19 testing because it was causing an increase in the number of cases detected in the United States.
The United States is the country most bereaved in the world by the coronavirus pandemic. To reduce the number of confirmed cases, Donald Trump has a technique all his own: less testing of the population. Without saying whether he was serious, the U.S. president told a crowd of his supporters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that testing was « a double-edged sword ».
«Here’s the downside: when you do this volume of screening, you find more people, you find more cases,» he continued Saturday at the first meeting organized in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
« So I said to my team ‘Slow down the screening’. They are doing tests, and tests…», added Donald Trump, whose management of the health crisis in the United States is widely criticized.
« He was obviously joking to denounce the absurd media coverage, » a White House official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Six members of the Trump campaign team tested positive at Covid-19 and were placed in quarantine a few hours before the rally. So far relatively unscathed, Oklahoma is currently experiencing a strong surge in the number of cases detected.
568 new deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the daily update published Saturday evening by the authoritative American Johns Hopkins University.
Fear of a second wave
This is the tenth day where the daily death toll is less than 1,000, although they remain the country hardest hit by the pandemic with 119,654 deaths out of 2,251,205 officially recorded infections.
About 20 US states have recently seen a rebound in infections, while the epicentre of the disease in the country has shifted from New York and the northeast to the south and west.
After dropping below 20,000, the daily number of new confirmed infections in the United States has risen in recent days to around 30,000 and beyond.
Fears exist of a second wave of Covid-19 contaminations, following the reopening of activities in the states and the massive rallies against police violence and racism that have taken place across the United States in recent weeks.
Source: ABC News