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Trump says he asked for coronavirus testing to be slowed down because there were so many cases

United States now has 2.2 million cases with some states still recording record one-day rises

Phil Thomas
New York
Sunday 21 June 2020 02:40 BST
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Trump says he asked for coronavirus testing to be slowed down because there were so many cases

Donald Trump has told supporters at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he asked for the rate of coronavirus testing to be slowed down because there were so many positive cases being found in the United States.

Repeating a point he has previously made, he suggested that the reason the US is leading the world in the number of infections and deaths is because so much testing has been done.

He said: "Testing is a double-edged sword. We've tested now 25 million people. It's probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany's done a lot, South Korea's done a lot – they call me and say 'The job you're doing ...'.

"Here's the bad part: when you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please."

The US has at least 2.2 million confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and at least 119,000 deaths.

Worldwide there have been 8.9 million cases and 466,000 deaths.

While rates are going down in many countries and some parts of the US – including New York, previously the epicentre of the pandemic – some states have been registering record one-day rises.

Tulsa county itself, where the president was holding his first campaign rally in three months, saw a record rise on Friday, as did Florida, Arizona, Nevada and South Carolina. The number of cases has also been going up in Texas.

Many supporters at the rally were choosing not to wear face masks or observe social distancing, despite pleas by health experts and politicians.

The CDC has suggested the US death toll could hit 145,000 by 11 July.

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