Trump: I’m Honored To Lead The Country With The Highest Number Of Infections
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he views the high number of U.S. coronavirus cases as a “badge of honor,” because the growing number boasts of America’s testing capacity.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has faced criticism over his administration’s response to the virus, most notably that its rollout of testing was slow and flawed.
Politico reported that Trump offered the remarks when a White House reporter asked about a potential ban on travel from Brazil, noting that the country is third behind the U.S. and Russia in case numbers.
The president responded with “his take on the grim numbers unprompted,” Politico wrote.
“By the way, you know, when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else,” Trump said.
He also claimed that “the U.S. had conducted nearly 14 million tests, a roughly 2 million-test difference from the latest figures according to the COVID Tracking Project.”
“When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better. So, if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, it would have far few cases, right?”
“So, I view it as a badge of honor. Really, it’s a badge of honor. It’s a great tribute to the testing and all of the work that a lot of professionals have done.”
Trump’s remarks follow substantial criticism over the course of the pandemic that his administration failed in its early approach to coronavirus testing, which involved a slow rollout, initially-flawed test kits, and a shortage of necessary supplies and facilities capable of running the tests.
Politico reported: “Experts have linked the administration’s testing stumbles in part with allowing the virus to spread undetected and unchecked throughout the country long before state leaders began instituting virus-related shutdowns.”
And Trump’s early March claim that any American who “wants a test can get a test” has yet to come to fruition.
Watch Trump’s remarks (begins at 2:51):