White House officials say Trump made the comments in jest, but Pelosi does not seem to be buying that explanation.
“Testing, tracing, treatment and social distancing are the only tools we have to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but President Trump orders his Administration to slow down the testing that saves lives,” Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday.
She continued, “The President’s efforts to slow down desperately needed testing to hide the true extent of the virus mean more Americans will lose their lives. This Tuesday, members of the Trump Administration’s coronavirus task force will testify before the Energy & Commerce committee.”
“The American people are owed answers about why President Trump wants less testing when experts say much more is needed,” Pelosi added.
Finally, she called Trump, “ethically unfit and intellectually unprepared to lead.”
During his rally on Saturday, Trump said, “When you do testing to that extent you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases.”
“So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please. They test, and they test, we got tests, and people don’t know what’s going on,” he added.
White House officials quickly pushed back against criticism and said that Trump was making a joke when he made those comments.
But some noted that Trump has previously made similar comments about coronavirus testing and questioned whether the president was really trying to make a joke.
Despite his comments, data has shown that coronavirus testing has increased significantly since February, and is now testing roughly 500,000 people per day. However, some health experts say that a country the size of the U.S. has to test millions of people per day to safely reopen and respond to outbreaks of the virus.
The latest data finds that there are more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and almost 120,000 coronavirus deaths. Additionally, several states have seen record increases in the number of new daily coronavirus cases in the past week.
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