President Donald Trump announced at his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally earlier this year that he told everyone to slow down coronavirus testing because too many people were getting COVID-19 and it was making American numbers look bad.
According to a New York Times report, it appears Trump has made good on his demand as coronavirus testing has slowed significantly.
“The number of daily coronavirus tests being conducted in the United States is only 64 percent of the level considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus, as many states struggle to increase testing and catch up to the recent surge in cases,” the report said Monday.
The outbreak of the virus in January, and Trump’s denials that the virus was real or dangerous until the end of February, prevented adequate testing in the first two months of the year. After the Center for Disease Control contaminated the COVID-19 tests in March, it slowed things even more.
Once widespread testing finally became available, the deadly virus’s reality became all too clear to Americans.
Since then, however, testing has slowed dramatically.
“An average of 734,000 tests per day were performed over the past week, according to data collected by the COVID Tracking Project, far below the current nationwide target of 1.2 million daily tests,” said the Times. “The target, which is based on a methodology developed by researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute, is different for each state and varies over time as infection rates change.”
At a minimum, Harvard researchers say, “there should be enough daily capacity to test anyone who has flu-like symptoms and an additional ten people for any symptomatic person who tests positive for the virus.” Instead, lower rates of testing indicate that the virus is likely far more widespread than the country knows.
The worst testing states listed by the Times are South Dakota, Iowa, Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Missouri, South Carolina, Florida, and Oklahoma.