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Trump says 'if we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases' of coronavirus


Jun. 16 2020, Updated 9:00 a.m. ET

The United States is seeing a surge in coronavirus case numbers after the nation began to reopen. On Saturday, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina reported a record number of new cases for the third day in a row. Oklahoma and Alaska also reported a record number of cases, while Arizona and Nevada came close to setting new highs.

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Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah all saw a record number of patients in the hospital on Sunday, while in South Carolina, 69% to 77% of hospital beds are occupied depending on the region. 

While experts would expect these numbers to rise as more and more tests are carried out, some are attributing the spike in cases to gatherings over Memorial Day weekend. 

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Addressing these concerns on Monday, President Trump said that there would be very few cases of coronavirus if we stopped testing.

"If we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases, actually," the President said.

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Trump went on to clarify: “And don’t forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing.”

“When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.” 

"Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double-edged sword - Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!" Trump tweeted earlier on Monday.

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Last month during a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Trump expressed a similar point of view.

"So the media likes to say we have the most cases, but we do, by far, the most testing. If we did very little testing, we wouldn't have the most cases. So in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad."

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"For instance, they would say we have more than China. I don't think so. We have more than other countries. I don't think so. But by doing all of the testing ... we're going to have more cases because we do more testing. Otherwise, you don't know if you have a case. I think that's a correct statement," he added.

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Despite a rise in cases, President Trump is going ahead with a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. Wearing masks during the inside event will be "optional." 

"Masks will be optional, and people will be able to wear them if they bring them or want them," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. "The American people can make decisions for themselves. We're all pretty informed about COVID at this point."

Around 19,000 people are expected to converge on the rally, while the president stated on Monday that he expects 40,000 people to attend. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci has asked anyone who will be part of a large crowd to "please, wear a mask."

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also said that people attending the rally should "probably" wear a mask and practice social distancing.

"People must observe the safety guidelines. OK -- must. The social distancing must be observed. Face coverings in key places must be observed," he said. Asked if it also applied to people attending the Trump rally, Kudlow replied: "Well, OK. Probably so." 

CNN reports that people attending the rally must agree to a disclaimer that states they acknowledge the "inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present."

"By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury," the disclaimer reads.


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