To Avoid Bad Statistics, Trump Suggests Slow Virus Testing

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US President Donald Trump addresses a gathering at Tulsa, Oklahoma. AFP

Tulsa (US)- President Donald Trump has said  that he had asked his administration to slow down Covid testing because robust testing turned up too many cases. He told supporters at his campaign rally at Tulsa that the US had tested 25 million people, far more than any other country, even as six of the staffers who organised the event tested positive for Covid.

The “bad part,” Trump said, is that widespread testing leads to logging more cases of the virus. “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’ They test and they test,” he said.

Trump opted to hold his first rally in 110 days despite concerns from local health officials that it could lead to further spread of the virus in Tulsa. Most of those in attendance declined to wear masks.

The turnout at the rally was lower than the campaign predicted, with a large swath of standing room on the stadium floor and empty seats in the balconies. Trump had been scheduled to appear at a rally outside of the stadium within a perimeter of tall metal barriers, but that event was abruptly cancelled.

The Covid outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the US, and nearly a half-million worldwide, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, though the real numbers are believed to be higher.

The number of newly confirmed cases per day has risen from about 21,400 two weeks ago to 23,200.

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