Trump gives up the game on testing: ‘By doing all this testing we make ourselves look bad’
President Donald J. Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence addresses his remarks Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump admitted his administration was not aggressively pursuing the widespread testing that health experts say is necessary to end the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts say the U.S. economy cannot safely be reopened until widespread testing and contact tracing is available, but Trump's administration has been slow to do that since the pandemic first arrived -- and he admitted again that he didn't want to know the true number of cases, reported the New York Times.

“In a way, by doing all this testing we make ourselves look bad,” Trump said Wednesday.

The president made a similar admission in early March, as the severity of the crisis was beginning to come into focus, and Trump did not want infected cruise ship passengers to disembark because it would raise the number of cases in the U.S.

“I would rather because I like the 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. And it wasn't the fault of the people on the ship either, okay? It wasn't their fault either and they're mostly Americans. So, I can live either way with it. I'd rather have them stay on, personally.”

There were fewer than 200 cases in the U.S. at that point, but there have since been 1.26 million cases reported and more than 74,000 deaths.