Trump says coronavirus testing is 'overrated' and repeats his claim that more testing makes the US 'look bad' as cases rise in many states

Trump said testing for COVID-19 was 'overrated' and repeated his frequent claim that too much testing 'made the US look bad' in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

President Donald Trump listens during an event about the PREVENTS
  • "I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history," Trump told the Journal .
  • The United States had surpassed 2.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 117,000 deaths as of Thursday, with several states seeing increases both in confirmed cases and in hospitalizations.
  • As many experts have warned, both the rises in the positive test rate and hospitalizations in many states indicate that the continued rise in confirmed cases and regional spikes aren't a result of increased testing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

President Donald Trump said testing for COVID-19 was overrated and repeated his claim that too much testing 'made the US look bad' in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday.

As of Thursday, the United States had surpassed 2.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 117,000 deaths from the disease.

While the Trump administration is publicly projecting optimism about the pandemic, cases continue to rise throughout the country.

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have misleadingly blamed the continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States on increased testing.

"I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history," Trump told the Journal, adding the rise in testing and states increasing their testing capacity lead to rise in testing that "in many ways, it makes us look bad."

It wasn't the first time Trump had remarked that more testing results in more positive cases being identified that makes the US "look bad."

At a Monday event focused on seniors' health , Trump said "If we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases, actually." And in May, Trump said "by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad," in a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

But as many public health experts have noted, cases continue to steadily rise in 20 states and the spikes in COVID-19 cases in places like Arizona and Florida aren't solely attributable to rises in testing.

An analysis from The New York Times found that "positive cases have outstripped the average number of tests that have been administered" in at least 14 states.

Arizona, for example, is seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations , stretching its intensive care units to maximum capacity. The Arizona Republic reported on Wednesday that 85% of all in-patients and 83% of ICU beds are currently occupied.

As Reuters recently reported , states including Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas and Utah also saw record levels of hospitalizations last weekend.

Slate recently reported that Florida, which has been seeing a consistent rise in cases for the past several days, also is seeing an increase in hospitalizations and a slight uptick in the positive test rate, meaning the continued expansion of the outbreak cannot be caused solely by more testing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, emphasized in a recent interview with the Journal that the United States is still very much in the "first wave" of the disease.

And in an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph , Fauci warned that the recent spikes in confirmed cases in some states could be "becoming a full blown outbreak."

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