US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the high number of COVID-19 cases in the United States as a “badge of honor”. The US has more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases and the highest number of infections globally. Trump argued that this means the US is testing more people. President also said that he is considering a travel ban on Latin America.
Trump Calls High US Covid-19 Numbers As A “Badge Of Honor”
“By the way, you know, when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else,” the president said at the White House. “When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better. So, if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, it would have far few cases, right? “So, I view it as a badge of honor. Really, it’s a badge of honor,” Trump said.
The US has the largest outbreak in the world
Around 91,000 people have died in the USA due to COVID-19, since February. Till today, the US has performed more than 11.8 million tests for infection by the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project, after the government experienced delays in getting tests developed and manufactured.
The U.S. continues to face testing shortages and sets priorities for those who get one. At a Senate hearing last week, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said that U.S. testing for coronavirus is nothing to celebrate because the country treaded water during the early stages of the pandemic while other countries such as South Korea tested people aggressively to curb the outbreak.
Are US testing levels extraordinary?
Bloomberg’s data contradicts Trump’s claims. The testing levels of the US aren’t extraordinary.
Countries like UK, Italy, and Germany conducted tests per 1000 people. And the major fact is that the US is finding a COVID-19 positive case for every 7.8 tests. One of the administration officials briefed that the U.S. is starting to see a decline in cases and deaths, even as testing increases.
The positive test percentage is also decreasing, meaning that the nation is finding the cases less frequently in testing, the official said. But, Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told a congressional panel monitoring the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic last week that, “The U.S. needs more than 900,000 tests every day to safely open up again. We are doing about a third of that.” In reply, Trump threatens to permanently cut WHO funding and withdraw US membership.
Travel ban on Latin America
“We are considering it,” the President said when asked if he was considering a travel ban on Latin America, and Brazil in particular, which now has the third-highest number of Coronavirus cases. “We hope that we’re not going to have a problem. The governor of Florida is doing very, very well testing in particular Florida because a big majority come into Florida. Brazil has gone more or less herd, and they’re having problems. I worry about everything, I don’t want people coming in here and infecting our people. I don’t want people over there sick either.” Trump added.