President Donald Trump keeps urging governors to scale back stay-at-home measures in the face of the pandemic in an effort to prop up his weakened economy.
Health experts unanimously say that widespread testing is vital for a return to normal, because there's no way to control the spread without knowing first who and how many people are infected.
But days after his latest White House press secretary said the idea of testing everyone was "nonsensical," Trump used the recent report that a senior staff member for Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the virus as a reason to decry testing.
Trump: Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of the sudden today she tested positive..… https://t.co/9CdZRNT1CJ— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1588965390.0
The President said:
"She's a wonderful young woman, Katie. She tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive...This is why the whole concept of tests aren't necessarily great. The tests are perfect, but something can happen between a test where it's good and then something happens...she was tested very recently and tested negative and then today, I guess, for some reason she tested positive."
Trump apparently didn't realize that people could contract the virus in between tests—or was using the fact that they could as a reason to claim widespread testing was futile.
People were frustrated that he was so mystified that someone who tested negative could test positive.
More proof that @POTUS is too stupid to understand that testing is about preventing the infected from spreading dis… https://t.co/mCBRtnjnmc— Kurt Eichenwald (@Kurt Eichenwald)1588968065.0
*pinches bridge of nose so hard my shins explode* https://t.co/ygomdRamEH— Gary Legum (@Gary Legum)1588966007.0
If you want to know why thousands of Americans are still dying from Covid-19 every day, this clip tells you everyth… https://t.co/XiLKDYqYus— Matt O'Brien (@Matt O'Brien)1588969349.0
He legitimately believes that if you get tested and you don't have it, that means you're immune I unironically lov… https://t.co/pLGeAyG2XA— Kyle 🌱 (@Kyle 🌱)1588971311.0
No, Mr. President. This doesn't invalidate testing. It underscores why we need to be producing and administering mi… https://t.co/6iQqLs0UNn— Mona Charen (@Mona Charen)1588968901.0
There was immense hypocrisy at play as well.
The White House constantly tells us they don't wear masks or practice social distancing because they get tested. No… https://t.co/17iyrObfWR— Tommy Vietor (@Tommy Vietor)1588967987.0
Says the guy who then ordered everyone in the White House tested every day. He’s such a pathological liar. Trump si… https://t.co/IB5FZqPUcA— John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@John Aravosis 🇺🇸)1588971474.0
The fact that the nurses in the oval office two days ago were tested was the rationale for Trump not wearing a mask… https://t.co/1pRFnST8vO— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender)1588968597.0
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.