"We are going to go through a very tough two weeks," Trump said, striking a more somber tone than he has at previous briefings. "This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks."
There will be "light at the end of the tunnel," I added. We are going to see things get better "all of a sudden" like a "burst of light."
“You would have had people dying all over the place,” Trump said, painting a picture of what would have happened if the country had done nothing. “You would have seen people dying in airplanes, you would have seen people dying in hotel lobbies.”
“How many people have even seen anybody die?” he said. “You would have seen death all over.
Of course, Trump was among those who downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus threat early on. Just last week, he pushed to scale back distancing measures by Easter.
“We are doing more than anybody else in the world, by far” on testing, Trump said. “And they’re very accurate tests.”
In fact, the US has lagged behind many other countries in testing. As of Monday afternoon, the US, with a population of 329 million, had administered at least 944,854, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a group led by Alexis Madrigal, a staff writer for The Atlantic magazine, with more than 100 volunteers that compiles coronavirus testing data from states.
This equates to 287 tests per 100,000 people in the US (with huge variations depending on the county, city and state) compared to 709 per 100,000 in South Korea and 600 per 100,000 in Italy.
About 65,000 coronavirus tests a day are currently being done on Americans — a massive rise from 10 days ago. But there’s huge variation from state to state, and public health experts reckon 150,000 tests are needed every day so that infected patients can be identified quickly, traced and quarantined
To match South Korea’s testing rate, the U.S. would have needed to conduct another 2 million tests. Moreover, some of the initial coronavirus tests sent out to states were seriously flawed – some did not even work. Part of the problem came from the CDC insisting it would manufacture the tests itself.
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