White House officials have spent days trying to downplay President Trump’s comments that he directed his administration to slow down COVID-19 testing to make the U.S. look better. On Saturday, in what was later dismissed by the White House as a joke, Trump told supporters that testing is “a double-edged sword,” and added: “I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’” But, in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, Trump admitted that he told his people that he believes mass testing puts the U.S. at a “disadvantage” when compared to other countries. Asked directly if he told his administration to slow down testing, Trump responded: “No... But I think we put ourselves at a disadvantage, I told my people. I said, ‘We’ve gotten so good at testing... We test much more than any other nation,’ so you hear about all these cases... So, instead of 25 million tests, let’s say we did 10 million tests. We’d look like we were doing much better because we’d have far fewer cases.” Trump’s assertion doesn’t hold up to scrutiny—although the U.S. has conducted the most coronavirus tests in raw numbers, it lags behind in testing per capita.
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