Trump's own testing chief says his promise of 5 million daily coronavirus tests is 'impossible'
President Donald J. Trump listens as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas addresses his remarks at the signing of H.R. 266 – the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act Friday, April 24, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

During a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump claimed that the U.S. will be able to carry out five million coronavirus tests per day. But according to a top official overseeing the effort, that goal is nowhere near achievable given the technology that's available, TIME reports.

“[T]here is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day, or even five million tests a day," Admiral Brett Giroir told TIME. Since the beginning of the year, the Administration has conducted 5.7 million tests in total.

According to Covid Tracking Project data, the largest number of tests conducted by the U.S. in a single day was 314,182. To meet Trump's goal. the U.S. would have to ramp up testing by 1,500 percent.

"Trump’s assertion was the latest in a series of inaccurate and misleading statements made by the president about the COVID-19 crisis that have often placed him at odds with the experts advising him," TIME's W.J. Hennigan writes. "On Feb. 28, speaking about the new coronavirus, he declared 'like a miracle, it will disappear.' On March 6 he said that 'anybody that wants a test can get a test'. Last week, bizarrely, he speculated that 'ultraviolet' light or the injecting of disinfectants might serve as treatments."

Read more over at TIME.