Trump Says He Ordered That Coronavirus Testing Be Slowed

Evan Vucci/AP

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Riffing about the coronavirus during a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to reboot his reelection campaign, President Trump said he asked for less testing to track the coronavirus pandemic for fear the increase in positives might make him look bad. The White House quickly clarified that Trump was joking, though it’s the sort of thing the president has said in the past. (Remember this?)

“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.'”

A little later:

Our weak testing capability hamstrung the initial response to the coronavirus, and the country is still paying the price for it. As of Saturday, nearly 122,000 Americans have died in the pandemic. Joke’s on them, I guess.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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