Trump: ‘I’m not kidding’ in coronavirus tests

President TrumpDonald John Trump South Korea criticizes Bolton’s book as ‘distorting reality’ of nuclear talks Democrats face tough questions with Bolton protesters trying to tear down Andrew Jackson statue near White House MORE He said Tuesday he is not “cheating” when asked if he was joking when he said at a campaign rally that he asked aides to stop testing for coronavirus.

“I’m not kidding,” Trump said when asked if the comments were made as a joke, undermining statements from his own White House that the comments were a joke. Trump also told CBN News in an interview the day before that he did not ask staff to stop the evidence, but did not deny doing so in the exchange with reporters on Tuesday.

Let me clarify. We have the best testing program anywhere in the world. We taste better than anyone else in the world. Our tests are the best in the world and we have most of them, “Trump said, adding that more tests allow the United States to detect more cases.” Having more cases sounds bad, but in reality what it is to find more people ” .

The president said he believed the evidence was a “double-edged sword,” echoing his comments at the Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which sparked controversy. Trump described the tests as having both advantages and disadvantages.

“The proof is a double-edged sword. In a way, it tells him that he has cases, in another way he discovers where the cases are and does a good job, “the president told reporters.

Asked about the president’s comments during testimony before Congress Tuesday night, top health officials, including Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci Night Health Care: Trump Refuses to Say If He Slowed Down Coronavirus Testing | COVID-19 cases in the United States are increasing, marking an ugly contrast with Europe | Trump health officials will testify about the continuing dangers of the coronavirus pandemic Trump health officials will testify about the continuing dangers of the coronavirus pandemic 12 Texas bars temporarily lose alcohol permits for violating coronavirus restrictions MORE and CDC Director Robert Redfield said they were never ordered to delay testing. Officials also underlined the importance of widespread testing and said the United States will continue to work to expand testing capabilities.

“I know for sure that I know that none of us had been told to stop testing. That is a fact, ”Fauci told the Chamber’s Energy and Commerce Committee. “It is the opposite, we are going to do more tests, not less.”

Trump was scrutinized for such comments at his campaign rally in Tulsa and for telling his staff to “stop the evidence, please.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Monday that the comment was “made as a joke” and did not order officials to stop the evidence.

“It is a comment he made in passing, specifically regarding media coverage and pointing to the fact that the media never acknowledges that we have more cases because when you examine more people, you find more cases,” McEnany said.

Vice President Pence defended Trump’s comments in a call with the governors on Monday and described them as comments made in passing.

Trump has repeatedly described the evidence of downsides in media interviews and tweets in recent days. He told CBN News on Monday that widespread tests make the US USA “In a way, it looks bad, but we’re actually doing the right thing.” He also said during the same interview that his comments at the rally were “ironic” “cheek”, although his comments on Tuesday seemed to contradict his earlier statement.

The United States has conducted more than 27 million tests, according to the Covid Tracking Project. It currently leads the world in coronavirus cases with approximately 2.3 million positive tests.

Several states are experiencing spikes in coronavirus cases after loosening restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus to allow businesses to reopen. Cases began increasing nationwide over the weekend after the plateau, with states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida experiencing severe spikes.

The White House has tried to minimize concerns about the new spikes, attributing them in part to increased testing, though health experts say the increased cases cannot be attributed to an expansion of the tests alone.

This story was updated at 12:04 pm