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“We’re going to find out”

Published on May 12th, 2020

President Donald Trump made a number of false and misleading claims to advance his case that the US is ready to reopen for business. Most concerning was his insistence that the US has mastered what public health experts say must be step one to reopening: widespread testing. The US’s daily testing capacity is insufficient to safely reopen businesses. Trump claims the US has actually conducted more tests than all other countries combined. So Trump’s claim isn’t even close to correct. It also overlooks that while the raw number of tests conducted in America sounds impressive, it lags behind countries like Germany and Canada in terms of tests per one million people.

“I think I read yesterday a report that we’ve done more than everybody — every other country — combined,” Trump said, adding later: “We’ve tested more than every other country in the world even put together.”

According to Worldometer, a site that tracks coronavirus data by country, over 30 million tests have been conducted across the world, and just over 5 million have been done in the United States. The number of tests conducted in China, for instance, isn’t accurate but the US is nowhere close to doing more testing than all other countries combined.

The reality is that while US coronavirus deaths are growing at a slower rate than they were a week ago, it’s still too early to say whether the worst is past us.  At another point, Trump was asked how people in South Carolina could be protected from the governor of Georgia’s decision if it turns out to be a bad one. “We’re going to find out,” he said in response.

 

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