Trump administration misled country with coronavirus testing data, Mitt Romney says

Trump administration misled country with coronavirus testing data, Mitt Romney says


Trump administration misled country with coronavirus testing data, Mitt Romney says

Trump administration misled country with coronavirus testing data, Mitt Romney says

Trump administration misled country with coronavirus testing data, Mitt Romney says 1

Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator to vote for Donald Trump‘s impeachment, is warning that the president and his team are framing test data in a misleading way to score political points.

“I understand the politicians are going to frame data in a way that’s most positive politically. Of course, I don’t expect that from admirals,” the Utah Republican said during a hearing Tuesday with members of the White House coronavirus task force.

“But yesterday, you celebrated that we had done more tests and more tests per capita even in South Korea,” he told Admiral Brett Giroir, a top Department of Health and Human Services official. “I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever.”


During a Monday White House press conference with the president, Admiral Giroir and Mr Trump said the United States has tested more people per capita than South Korea. The admiral added this: “Everybody who needs a test can get a test. We have plenty of tests for that.”


But the next day, Mr Romney took umbrage.

“You ignored the fact that they accomplished theirs at the beginning of the outbreak while we treaded water during February and March. And as a result, by 6 March, the US had completed just 2,000 tests, whereas South Korea had conducted more than 140,000 tests,” he said before delivering this blistering assessment: “So, partially as a result of that, they have 256 deaths and we have almost 80,000 deaths.”

The US has been testing around 250,000 people a day, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a nonprofit organisation.

But many public health experts and Democratic officials say that rate is much too low to reopen the entire US economy. For instance, Harvard University’s Global Health Institute has called for the US to conduct 900,000 tests daily.

Experts and Democrats say the Trump administration was too slow to help states ramp up testing and laboratory capacities, and they are still calling for the White House to craft a national testing plan.


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