President Donald Trump consistently proves that he has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to the Coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of over 120,000 Americans and is spreading at a particularly rapid rate in some areas of the country. It’s not as though the country couldn’t use some semblance of competent leadership from the president — just this past Wednesday, the U.S. reported its highest single-day count of new Coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, but in a Twitter post this Thursday, Trump revealed that he still does not seem to understand basic principles of the pandemic, no matter how many times they’re explained — and he used a racist description for the Coronavirus in the process.
He suggested that the rise in cases across the U.S. is inextricably tied to a rise in testing. This claim is flatly incorrect. There are at least a couple metrics that prove its brazen wrongness — in Florida, for instance, testing has actually been going down recently, and numbers of confirmed cases have been going up. Separately, the portion of tests that have come back positive for the Coronavirus in places around the country has been increasing, and if the increase in cases could be attributed to a rise in testing alone, then the portion of tests that come back positive should be decreasing over time. It’s not. Coronavirus cases are rising at a faster rate than the rate at which testing is increasing.
Week over week, testing is up in states experiencing the largest epidemic spread of Covid; but new Covid cases are up to a greater degree. The exception is Florida, where Covid cases are up, but testing has declined week-over-week based on reported data. pic.twitter.com/DmUfVS4VGl
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) June 25, 2020
Still, Trump tweeted:
‘The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down. The Fake News doesn’t like telling you that!’
The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down. The Fake News doesn’t like telling you that!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
Again — the number of Coronavirus cases has not been going up “because of GREAT TESTING.” The number has been going up because the virus is spreading. And the death rate has lowered over time, but it’s still very high, and additionally, increases in deaths tend to lag behind increases in cases by about two weeks or so.
And to be clear — referring to the Coronavirus as the “ChinaVirus” is brazen racism that does nothing other than try and exploit divisions among Americans for his own political gain via turning his followers against yet another group — this time, the Chinese.
Check out Twitter’s response below: