Trump Seems to Think Talking About Testing Is Just a Favorite Media Pastime

Stefani Reynolds/ZUMA

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

At an industry roundtable on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again doubled down on the claim that the state of coronavirus testing in the United States is all well and good—and that complaining about it is just a favorite media pastime.

“You don’t hear about ventilators, you don’t hear about masks, and you shouldn’t be hearing about testing—but that’s the last thing they can complain about, I guess,” Trump said. “If we do 2 million tests, they say, ‘Why don’t you do 3?’ If we do 3, they say, ‘How come you didn’t do 4?’ That’s like a dream for the media.”

Trump blamed his administration’s response on past presidents: “We had no ventilators, or very few, from previous administrations. We became the king of ventilators.” He added, “We had old fashioned tests that didn’t work, that were really obsolete,” but, “the testing has been incredible now, to a level that nobody’s seen.” (There were no COVID-19 tests before because it’s a new virus.)

Trump praised the states that have made plans to reopen their economies, making it sound like ongoing testing is just a personal pet project for governors rather than a critical public health need: “You have some governors that love the tests. You have others that like doing it a different way, an old fashioned way, with some testing. But we’re going maximum testing.”

As of yesterday, some 5.8 million Americans had been tested for coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project—less than 2 percent of the US population. More than 60,000 Americans have died of the virus.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate