Day 1,186: Trump brags about U.S. coronavirus testing despite being 38th in the world

2 min readApr 20, 2020

Testing: that’s the key to stop the spread of coronavirus, says virtually every expert on the topic. And yet, for months, the U.S. has had horrific testing shortages thanks to inaction by Donald Trump.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from bragging about the number of tests, however. Sunday, during a coronavirus briefing, Trump boasted about “rapidly” increasing the number of tests, seemingly for the millionth time. The fact that he is constantly proclaiming a huge ramp-up in number of tests undercuts the idea that his previous promises were fulfilled.

In fact, from a per capita basis the U.S. is lagging far behind most developed countries.

And as we noted yesterday, comparing the U.S. to its contemporaries in terms of timing and volume is a terrible look from a sheer quantity perspective too.

From a raw tests perspective, the U.S. and South Korea saw their first case on the same day, January 20. The U.S. — with over six-times the population — didn’t pass South Korea in total number of tests administered until the end of March, more than two months later.

Democratic governors and Republican governors are critical of the Trump administration’s process, as they’re forced to watch their residents getting sick and dying with little federal assistance.

Trump finally announced he’d use federal law to compel companies to produce tens of millions of additional swabs on Sunday. Despite calling it “easy,” Trump has sat on his hands as governors have called on Trump to assist them in getting more for weeks. As to why they reason for the delay, Trump’s answer was nonsensical.

Asked why his administration waited for weeks to use the Defense Production Act on swabs, Trump alternately claimed that states have “millions coming in” already, that states can procure them on their own, and that governors “don’t know quite where they are” and need the federal government’s help.

Trump took a tangent during his briefing to explain the difference between a swab and a Q-tip. He held them both up, comparing and contrasting the two is a moment probably too ridiculous for even the writers of Saturday Night Live to dream up.

Trump also pulled out a copy of The Wall Street Journal and read a portion of an op-ed to reporters. He highlighted the complementary things said about him as TV graphic next to his head showed 41,379 deaths in the U.S. resulting from coronavirus.

1,186 days in, 276 to go

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TrumpTimer watches, tracks and reports about Donald Trump and his administration’s policies every day. TrumpTimer is also counting down until January 20, 2021.