Giroir breaks with Trump, says surge in coronavirus cases ‘not just a function of testing’

Source: Politico | October 28, 2020 | Quint Forgey

“We know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up,” the administration’s testing czar said.

Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, on Wednesday contradicted President Donald Trump’s claim that surging coronavirus caseloads in the United States were the result of expanded testing for the disease.

“We do believe and the data show that cases are going up. It’s not just a function of testing,” Giroir said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. “Yes, we’re getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up. And we know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up.”

Trump has repeatedly suggested in recent days that greater testing capacity is responsible for a new nationwide spike in Covid-19 cases, tweeting on Monday that cases are increasing “because we TEST, TEST, TEST.”

In fact, the U.S. tallied a single-day record of more than 83,000 Covid-19 cases on Friday, a new high-water mark as coronavirus has roared back across the country. Public health experts have warned that the fall and winter months will be an especially bleak period for Americans, as the coronavirus converges with the annual flu season.

But at a campaign rally in Michigan on Tuesday, Trump argued that the reason the U.S. has “so many cases” is “because we test more,” adding that “in many ways, I hate” testing.

“We test everybody, and because of that — now, if I tested half, if I said, ‘We are going to cut our testing down in half,’ they’d go crazy because the cases would go down in approximately half, right?” Trump told supporters.

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