Donald Trump said during a visit to Arizona on Tuesday that his southern border wall “stopped Covid,” even as the state reported a new record for confirmed cases of the respiratory illness.
The barrier “stopped Covid, stopped everything,” he said before heading to a briefing to see a section of the barrier. The state reported 3,591 new cases Tuesday, a new record, according to AZcentral.com.
The news site also reported that the state announced that hospitalizations reached the 2,000 mark for the first time on Monday: 2,136 coronavirus patients were using hospital beds on Monday. That was above 1,992 on Sunday.
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Trump’s latest comments that ignore the data on the disease came as he and his top aides and health officials continued to send mixed signals about coronavirus testing.
“I hope I have left you with the impression that increased testing is good,” said Deborah Birx, a State Department doctor who is a senior member of the White House coronavirus special force, governors are reported to have a private call.
But the president again called the Covid-19 test “a double-edged sword.”
When asked when he was leaving the White House if he was, as his top spokesman stated on Monday, he was simply joking during a campaign rally on Saturday night that he had ordered his team to cut down on evidence, the President replied: “No I’m kidding. “
On Air Force One en route to Yuma, and then to Phoenix, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tried to salvage her comment on Monday when asked about her boss contradicting him.
“I was noticing that I was making a serious point, but I was using sarcasm to do that at the rally,” he told reporters. “And the serious point I was making is that when you test more people, you identify more cases.”
That happened after Trump again seemed to complain about the test results and said his administration had been slow to test, but then went on to all other countries on the number of tests conducted.
“With more cases, it sounds bad. But really what it is, is that we are finding people, many of those people are not sick or are very small, perhaps young, “she said. “But what happened is that due to all the cases we found, we have a very low mortality rate, almost the best in the world. That’s the advantage of testing, along with other things, but just remember this: The reason we have more cases than other countries is because our tests are so many. Other countries do very little testing. “
“The test is a double-edged sword,” said Trump. “In one way, it tells you that you have cases, in another way you find out where the cases are.”