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As Florida passes 100,000 coronavirus cases, Trump wants to slow down testing

According to reports, state health officials have confirmed more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in Florida. Last week, the state saw a surge of cases that accounted for more than a fifth of all cases in the state since officials first confirmed the virus’ presence in early March. This grim milestone comes as Trump doubles down on the comments he made at Saturday’s Tulsa rally in which he called coronavirus testing “a double-edged sword” and claimed that he had told advisers to “slow the testing down, please.” Today, when asked if that was true, Trump refused to answer direct questions and suggested if he had slowed it down it was a good thing.

“This is the problem with Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump taking a victory lap before finishing the job — the coronavirus never went away, they just decided to ignore the problem,” said Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, “More than 120,000 Americans have died and cases are rapidly increasing in Florida, but because it doesn’t align with Donald Trump’s re-election strategy, he and Governor DeSantis choose to look the other way and downplay the threat. We need a leader who listens to the experts, puts people first, and faces crises head on — we need to elect Joe Biden in November.”

TRUMP: “If we did slow it down, we wouldn’t show nearly as many cases. … If it did slow down, frankly I think we’re way ahead of ourselves, if you want to know the truth. We’ve done too good a job.” [6.22.20]

TRUMP: “You’re going to find more cases, so I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’” [6.18.20]

TRUMP: “I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history. I’ve created the greatest testing machine in history. And I think testing is overrated. … Look, if we didn’t test all the cases that we’re reporting, you wouldn’t know about any of those cases. In many ways, it makes us look bad.” [6.18.20]

MIAMI HERALD: Florida’s Department of Health on Monday reported 2,926 new infections of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 100,217 confirmed cases. There were also 12 new deaths announced, raising the statewide toll to 3,173.

A Miami Herald analysis of public and non-public COVID-19 data found that through June 3, new cases in Florida had consistently been trending up since mid-May and the trends could not be attributed solely to increases in testing. [6.22.20]

MIAMI HERALD: But many experts disagree. The positivity rate of tests in Florida are on the rise. The World Health Organization has said that in countries that have conducted extensive testing for COVID-19, the rate of positive cases should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days before loosening social-distancing requirements. Over the past 24 hours in Florida, 12.3% of the new tests were positive. [6.20.20]

CNN: “Nearly half of states are reporting a rise in new cases and some continue to break records in their daily reported cases.” [6.22.20]

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