The president has claimed falsely on several occasions that surges of Covid-19 in several states can be explained by increased diagnostic tests
US President Donald Trump said Saturday he was encouraging coronavirus response workers to slow down testing, arguing that increased tests lead to more cases being discovered.
The president has claimed falsely on several occasions that surges of Covid-19 in several states can be explained by increased diagnostic tests.
At his first rally since the outbreak forced nationwide shutdowns in March, Trump told the crowd in Tulsa, Oklahoma that testing was a "double-edged sword."
The US - which has more deaths and cases than any other country - has carried out around 27 million coronavirus tests, placing it 26th in the world, per capita.
"Here is the bad part: When you do tests to that extent, you are going to find more people, you will find more cases," Trump argued.
"So, I said 'slow the testing down.' They test and they test."
It was not clear from Trump's tone if he was playing to the crowd, which cheered as he spoke, or if he was being serious.
Coronavirus cases have spiked in several states, including Oklahoma, and local health officials had asked Trump to postpone the rally, fearing it would contribute to the spread.
Six members of an advance team working in Tulsa ahead of the rally tested positive for Covid-19, the Trump campaign said just hours before the president took the stage.