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“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” the president said at a meeting on the health of the US’ seniors at the White House. Some 17 states – mostly in southern regions – have reported a hike in coronavirus cases in the last week, as states start to lift their lockdowns.
Trump claimed that “testing a double edged sword” that makes the US “look bad” but is “good to have.”
“Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases,” he tweeted Monday morning.
“Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases.
“Testing is a double edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!”
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina all had record numbers of new infections in the past three days.
President Trump is set to attend a campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday, which will be his first since March.
He argued Tulsa had been chosen as the location for the event due to Oklahoma’s governor’s response to the pandemic.
“Oklahoma is at a very low number. They have done really fantastic work,” he said.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that large congregations of people that involve shouting, chanting or singing should “strongly encourage” members of the public to wear face masks.
But the body clarify whether the comments were aimed directly at those attending the President’s rally on Saturday.
“They are not regulations, they are not commands, but they are recommendations or even suggestions … to be able to have a gathering that will keep people as safe as possible,” said Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for Infectious Diseases.
It comes after Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the US, warned last week that the “blips” of increasing Covid-19 hospitalisations being recorded by some states could become unmanageable if a strict contact tracing plan is not implemented.
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He added that the country would have more cases as lockdowns started to lift.
“But when you start seeing more hospitalisations, that’s a sure fire sign that you’re in a situation where you’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr Fauci told CNN.
But he argued that a hike in hospitalisations was a worrying tendency and a suggestion that “maybe we need to slow down a little” on lifting lockdowns.
Speaking on the Powerhouse Politics podcast he told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that the “best way that you can avoid – either acquiring or transmitting infection – is to avoid crowded places, to wear a mask whenever you’re outside.
“And if you can do both, avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great.
“If you’re going to be in a situation where – beyond your control there’s a lot of people around you – make sure you wear a mask,” he added.
Some states have slowed or stopped the easing of lockdowns due to the upward trend in coronavirus cases.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she would pause county applications to ease the lockdown after the state recorded a record daily increase in new Covid-19 infections on Thursday.
“This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light,’ it’s time to press pause for one week before any further reopening,” Ms Brown said in a statement.
“I don’t want to go forward and then take a step backward,” Utah’s Republican Governor Gary Herbert said of his decree issued on Friday to pause reopenings, which will stay in place until June 26.
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