During a conference call with the nation’s governors, Dr. Deborah Birx directly contradicted Donald Trump by urging them to increase coronavirus testing even as Trump continues to whine about it.
On multiple occasions, Trump has made the ridiculous claim that coronavirus cases would go down if the United States decreased testing. That’s like saying a woman is not pregnant if she doesn’t take a pregnancy test.
The reality is that the coronavirus has spread uncontrollably throughout the country, especially in red states that chose to reopen early. As a result, cases have soared in those states, particularly in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma, where Trump spoke at a sparsely-attended rally in Tulsa and claimed that he ordered testing to “slow down” in an effort to manipulate the number of cases.
Our country has the most cases and deaths worldwide, yet we only represent a very small percentage of the global population.
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That’s not because we’re testing, but because Trump’s reckless and incompetent response to the virus allowed the pandemic to get worse.
Birx, who has shown a reluctance to challenge Trump, urged governors to increase testing.
“Hopefully I have left you with the impression that increased testing is good,” Birx said, according to The Daily Beast. “We would like to even see it even more. Identifying cases early including your asymptomatic [ones] will really help us protect the elderly and the additional people with co-morbidities.”
The publication even described how the governors disagreed with Trump’s stance on testing, with Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak openly challenging Vice President Mike Pence to explain Trump’s remarks at the rally.
During the course of the hour-and-a-half call, none of the governors who spoke said they felt as if testing should be ramped down. But only one participant—Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D-NV)—challenged Pence to explain the president’s remarks.
‘The president’s comment Saturday night as it related to his order to slow down the testing is certainly not helping,’ Sisolak said. ‘We are doing everything we can in Nevada to increase our testing and increase the availability of our testing.'”
Pence replied by claiming that Trump’s remarks were not meant to be taken seriously even though Trump clearly stated that he was not kidding.
At any rate, it appears that the governors are listening to the health experts now. Of course, that does not absolve Trump or the red state governors of their incompetent decisions that got us into this mess and are continuing to make it worse.
Featured image via screen capture
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