President Donald Trump sparked a new controversy over the weekend by suggesting that testing more people for the coronavirus has contributed to the U.S. holding the top spot in the world for COVID-19 diagnoses, in the midst of the worst daily case spike the world has seen since the crisis began.
With the world’s largest economy struggling to contain the virus, the president made waves after a rally in Tulsa, where turnout was less than expected. Trump said that when testing is widespread, “you’re going to find more people. So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down please.’”
White House officials have said the president was kidding, and never directed the coronavirus task force to slow down testing. However, the comments drew widespread criticism, and flew in the face of worrying trends in states like Florida, which despite a slight decrease in testing is seeing cases surge.