United States President Donald Trump on Friday said that countries like India and China would have more coronavirus cases than America if they conducted more tests. The United States is so far the worst-hit country with 18,97,838 reported cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 1,08,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The president, in his remarks at Puritan Medical Products in Maine, said that the US has carried out 20 million tests. “Germany is at 4 million,” he added. “South Korea, which you heard so much about –
they’re doing a good job – they’re at about 3 million. We’re well over 20 million. Very shortly, we’ll be well over 20 million tests.”
He added that when countries test more, they have more cases. “I say to my people: Every time we test, you find cases because we do more testing,” Trump said. “So if we have more cases – if we wanted to do testing in China or in India, or other places, I promise you, there’d be more cases. But we’re doing a great job with the testing. And you’re doing a fantastic job in getting out the swabs.”
India has so far recorded 2.36 lakh cases and the toll from the infection was 6,642 on Saturday. Meanwhile, China, where the virus first emerged late last year, has officially reported 83,030 cases and 4,634 casualties.
The Indian Council of Medical Research, the country’s nodal body for coronavirus testing, has so far tested 45,24,317 samples till Saturday 9 am. The World Health Organization on Friday said the cases in India have doubled every three weeks but the pandemic is not growing exponentially in the country, Reuters reported. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, said with a population of 1.3 billion India’s number of cases looks big, but “it’s still modest”.
At a news briefing, Trump claimed that the US has made it through the worst of the outbreak, adding that the administration made every decision correctly to handle the infection, AFP reported. “We had the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he said. “And that strength let us get through this horrible pandemic, largely through, I think we’re doing really well.”
Insensitive remark about George Floyd
He also referred to the latest monthly employment numbers and claimed that the economy is now back on track. The Labor Department said that 2.5 million people got jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% after extremely high job losses reported in the previous months due to the pandemic. “Today is probably the greatest comeback in American history but it’s not going to stop here,” Trump said.
The president also sparked controversy by mentioning George Floyd, the African-American man who was killed on May 25 after a white former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. “We all saw what happened last week,” he said. “We can’t let that happen. Hopefully George is looking down and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. [It’s] a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody.”
Trump made the comments while speaking about the jobs report, which exceeded economists’ expectations given the measures in place to rein in the coronavirus outbreak.