Trump Seems to Think Talking About Testing Is Just a Favorite Media Pastime

Stefani Reynolds/ZUMA

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At an industry roundtable on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again doubled down on the claim that the state of coronavirus testing in the United States is all well and good—and that complaining about it is just a favorite media pastime.

“You don’t hear about ventilators, you don’t hear about masks, and you shouldn’t be hearing about testing—but that’s the last thing they can complain about, I guess,” Trump said. “If we do 2 million tests, they say, ‘Why don’t you do 3?’ If we do 3, they say, ‘How come you didn’t do 4?’ That’s like a dream for the media.”

Trump blamed his administration’s response on past presidents: “We had no ventilators, or very few, from previous administrations. We became the king of ventilators.” He added, “We had old fashioned tests that didn’t work, that were really obsolete,” but, “the testing has been incredible now, to a level that nobody’s seen.” (There were no COVID-19 tests before because it’s a new virus.)

Trump praised the states that have made plans to reopen their economies, making it sound like ongoing testing is just a personal pet project for governors rather than a critical public health need: “You have some governors that love the tests. You have others that like doing it a different way, an old fashioned way, with some testing. But we’re going maximum testing.”

As of yesterday, some 5.8 million Americans had been tested for coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project—less than 2 percent of the US population. More than 60,000 Americans have died of the virus.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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