In what appeared to be off-the-cuff remarks to a group of assembly line workers producing personal protective equipment in Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump said that the use of widespread coronavirus testing may be “overrated.”
The remarks come as the US is attempting ramp up the supply of coronavirus tests as businesses reopen nationwide this month.
“So we have the best testing in the world,” Trump said. “Could be the testing is frankly overrated. Maybe it is overrated. But whatever they start yelling, 'We want more, we want more,' you know they always say, 'We want more. We want more.' Because they don't want to give you credit. Then we do more and they say, 'We want more.'”
Trump said that his administration is not receiving enough credit for the number of coronavirus tests performed nationwide, a figure that passed 10 million earlier this week. While the overall number of tests puts the US above other nations, the US is not among the top countries on a per capita basis.
While the nation’s testing ability has caught up in recent weeks, the United States’ per capita testing capabilities were far outpaced by a number of other countries early in the outbreak.
While the federal government's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that testing “isn’t everything,” he stressed testing is an important facet to reopening the economy and controlling the spread of the virus.
“I want to make sure that people understand not to underestimate the importance of testing,” Dr. Fauci said at a White House news briefing in April. “Testing is a part — an important part — of a multifaceted way that we are going to control and ultimately end this outbreak.”
Dr. Fauci said that mitigation is a key to controlling the spread of the virus.
“It's the kinds of things that we've been doing, the mitigation strategies, that are an important part of that," Dr. Fauci said