President Donald Trump claimed an increase in U.S. coronavirus cases was due to ‘GREAT TESTING’ Thursday – not a resumption of spread of the disease – even as more than half of the states saw their cases on the rise.
Trump tweeted about the virus after hailing U.S. tests as the ‘the best in the world,’ and bragging ‘we have the most of them’ – even as some experts disputed his claim that the rise in nationwide infections was due to testing.
‘The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down. The Fake News doesn’t like telling you that!’ Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, as he headed to Wisconsin to visit a ship factory that has contended with coronavirus cases among workers.
‘The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING,’ President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday
He referred to COVID-19 as ‘ChinaVirus’ after doubling down on his use of the term ‘kung flu’ during a Tuesday speech in Arizona, one of a number of states now experiencing a spike in cases.
U.S. deaths have been on a decline, since peaking at around 2,000 per day during the height of the pandemic in April. The Trump administration published guidelines and states imposed lockdowns, many of which are now being lifted.
It wasn’t immediately known whether the White House had data in any changes in the mortality rate among those infected with the virus.
The U.S. has lost about 125,000 people to the virus, but the daily number of deaths has been dropping. U.S. deaths topped 800 for the last two days, an uptick from a few days ago, but still well off the highs of the spring.
More than 2 million Americans are now infected with the virus. Infections have been on the rise since June – and more than half the states have seen increases, even as early hot spots like New York are seeing big declines.
Some governors such as Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas have hit pause on planned reopenings after viewing a concerning rise in infections. ‘This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business,’ Abbott said Thursday.
Trump touted a drop in daily deaths due to the coronavirus
He attributed a spike in infections to additional testing
The number of infected Americans has surpassed 2 million, out of fewer than 10 million identified cases globally
Declining daily deaths could be due to younger people becoming infected
XPO Logistics truck driver Jose Lopez, 64, is tested for COVID-19 at an International Brotherhood of Teamsters testing site, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 25, 2020
Trump also attacked the ‘Fake News’ and used the term ‘ChinaVirus’ to refer to COVID-19
Trump touted the drop in daily deaths as he headed to Wisconsin Thursday
On Tuesday Trump offered a hypothesis for why infections would be going up but deaths on the decline.
‘With tests, we’re going to have more cases. By having more cases, it sounds bad, but actually what it is, is we’re finding people. Many of those people aren’t sick or very little. You know, they may be young people,’ he said.
The initial tranche of deaths came overwhelmingly from older Americans, who were more vulnerable and may have had other ailments that made them susceptible to the virus. There were also numerous early clusters in nursing homes, amid nationwide shortages of testing and protective gear.
People over 65 have consistently accounted for about 80 per cent of deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control data, Politifact reported Wednesday.
Analysis are combing data to see how increased reopenings and movement starting around Memorial Day have added to the increase. Some of the new infections have been among younger people who have congregated, such as an outbreak among more than 30 members of the Louisiana State University football team.
About half of new cases in Texas in Florida are among people 35 or younger.
There have also been a series of large outdoor protests over the killing of George Floyd where many people, some masked and some not, congregated.
Seven states have now seen a positive rate of more than 10 per cent from testing in their borders – including Arizona, a state Trump visited Tuesday.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has noted that infections are a leading indicator that might not show up in daily deaths until days or weeks later. So it is possible the U.S. will see a spike in deaths despite the more recent promising drop.
Trump has repeatedly touted the total U.S. tests given, although the nation still falls short of what some experts have called for, such as a team organized by Harvard University recommending 5 million tests per day. The U.S. is currently testing about 500,000 per day – one-tenth that many.
Officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press – more than ten times the reported cases. This would amount to about 6 per cent of the U.S. population.
Trump has also said the virus is ‘fading away’ – a line that is already being used in online campaign ads against him.