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Watch: Trump Sidesteps, Dodges, Refuses to Say He Was Joking About Slowing Down Testing



‘If It Did Slow Down We’re Way Ahead’

In what has become his latest coronavirus scandal President Donald Trump bragged that he had told officials to “slow down” COVID-19 testing during his campaign re-election rally in Tulsa Saturday. Many were quick to note that slowing down testing literally puts more lives at risk, and given how infections are now dramatically rising in at least 23 states, any effort to reduce testing is dangerous and possibly life-threatening.

President Trump refused to say he was joking about ordering coronavirus testing be slowed down, in a rare one-on-one interview with a Scripps reporter on the West Wing Colonnade just outside the Oval Office Monday.

“Did you ask to slow it down?” Scripps’ national political editor and Washington correspondent Joe St. George asked the President.

Trump’s response?

He pauses, his head cocks to his right, his mouth opens, he says, “Ah…if it did slow down, frankly I think we’re way ahead of ourselves.”

Related: ‘Slow Down Testing’ No Joke: White House Refusing to Disburse $14 Billion Congress Appropriated for Testing, Dems Say

On Sunday, White House Peter Navarro suggested to CNN Trump’s claim he ordered a slow down in testing in an attempt to (again) minimize the number of cases recorded, was merely “tongue in cheek,” and “a light moment for him at a rally.”

The President refused to endorse that take.

In talking about testing, Trump also made clear he does not understand the need for it, saying that it identifies people who are infected with the virus but are “having very little problem.” Those people can spread the disease. Later he claims, falsely, “we’ve done too good a job.”


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