Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers he was never asked to slow coronavirus testing.
This comes after President Donald Trump said in jest at his weekend rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he had asked officials to “slow the testing down”.
“I as a member of the Task Force, and my colleagues on the Task Force– to my knowledge, none of us have ever been told to slow down on testing. That just is a fact,” Dr. Fauci said.
He continued: “In fact, we will be doing more testing. … Not only testing, specificly identify people and identify, isolate contact tracing, but also much more surveillance if you want to get your arms around and understand exactly what’s going on in community spread.”
“So, it’s the opposite. We’re going to be doing more testing, not less,” Dr. Fauci confirmed.
During the rally, President Trump told the crowd in jest: “Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'” Video Below
Dr. Anthony Fauci’s official remarks:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 23, 2020
President Trump at the Tulsa Rally:
“Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down please!'” — Trump pic.twitter.com/m5MOV9je70
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 21, 2020
The committee on Tuesday also heard testimony from HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD.
They too confirmed that President Trump has not asked him to slow down testing.
Congressman Greg Walden: "Has President Trump ever directed you to slow down testing for COVID-19 in the United States?"
"No Congressman." pic.twitter.com/k6lL4eCVs5
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) June 23, 2020
On Tuesday, President Trump told reporters: “I don’t kid. We have got the greatest testing anywhere in the world. We test better than anyone in the world. Our tests are the best in the world, and we have the most of the them.”
“By having more tests, we find more cases. We did 25 million tests. … Therefore, with the tests, we’re gonna have more cases. By having more cases, it sounds bad, but actually what it is, we’re finding people [with cases],” he added.
Question: "When you said you asked your people to slow down testing, were you just kidding or do you have a plan to slow down testing?"
President Trump: "I don’t kid." pic.twitter.com/0R7iYflBcZ
— The Hill (@thehill) June 23, 2020
President Trump also tweeted on Tuesday: