Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A medical assistant with M Health Fairview administers a Covid-19 test to a fellow Fairview employee. (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Trump Claims Covid-19 Testing Is 'Overrated' as Cases and Hospitalizations Surge Across US

"Just a reminder that Trump and the people around him are still tested constantly to keep him safe while he repeats this utter bullshit to the public."

Jake Johnson

In a meandering Wall Street Journal interview filled with blatant and outlandish lies—such as the claim that he personally "made Juneteenth very famous"—President Donald Trump on Thursday called Covid-19 testing "overrated" and admitted that he is putting the health of some of his supporters at risk by moving ahead with a planned rally this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history," Trump said when asked if he would push to test everyone in New York and Michigan if those states were hit with a massive resurgence of coronavirus. "I've created the greatest testing machine in history. And I think testing is overrated."

Pressed to explain his position, the president said testing "makes us look bad."

"We report every case," said Trump. "So, if we test 20 times more than some other country, we're going to find cases. They call them cases. And that's only because our testing is much better."

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both falsely claimed earlier this week that increased testing—rather than an actual surge in infections—is behind recent spikes in Covid-19 cases in more than 20 states across the U.S., which has lagged behind other nations in tests per capita. The White House has come under constant criticism from lawmakers and public health experts for failing to implement a nationwide testing strategy.

"The U.S is now conducting more than 3 million coronavirus tests a week, a big improvement over the shortages and failures that worsened the pandemic this spring. But the country risks another dangerous testing deficit this fall when schools and businesses try to reopen," Politico reported Wednesday. "Safely reopening schools and businesses could require up to 30 million tests per week, rather than the current three million, certain experts say."

As Vox's Dylan Matthews wrote Thursday, contrary to Trump's dismissal of its importance, widespread testing is needed to "identify people with mild symptoms, so they can isolate and avoid spreading the virus to other people."

"You need tests to conduct contact tracing: the tedious work of interviewing people who test positive for Covid-19, finding out with whom they've been in close contact, and then informing those people of their potential exposure and asking them to self-isolate and—you guessed it—get tested," Matthews wrote.

"When you conduct more tests, you would expect the positive test rate to go down, because along with some more positive tests, you would get many more negative ones," Matthews continued. "So experts are concerned because in states like Arizona and Florida and Texas, the positive test rate is actually increasing. That is what suggests increased spread of Covid-19 is behind some of rising case numbers—not simply more tests being conducted.

Trump went on in the Journal interview to admit that by holding a rally in Tulsa on Saturday despite the warnings of public health officials, he is putting his supporters at risk of infection.

"Well, people have to know that, yes," the president said. "But it's tiny. You know, it's a very small percentage."

Trump said rally-goers will not be required to wear face masks, which the president characterized as "a double-edged sword" that "could be a false sense of security."

As Common Dreams reported last week, the Trump campaign is requiring prospective rally attendees to sign a waiver vowing not to sue if they contract Covid-19 at the event.

"The Trump campaign may have shied away from such a move if it could be held accountable for the resulting illness and potential deaths that are likely to follow," said Public Citizen president Robert Weissman. "Instead, it aims to escape liability and any measure of accountability by forcing attendees to waive their rights through contract terms that they are unlikely even to notice."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo