President Trump on Monday again sought to redirect blame for his coronavirus response on his favorite enemy: The Obama administration.
Trump, who has repeatedly claimed that increased testing has led to a spike in U.S. COVID-19 cases, was asked by a reporter at the White House whether he was concerned about a resurgence of the virus that has killed more than 135,000 Americans and infected more than 3.3 million.
“Well, you know that we have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere,” the president falsely claimed before pivoting to an attack on Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee. (Not only is America’s coronavirus mortality rate far from the lowest in the world, it’s also been deflated due to rampant testing and rising case numbers — not to mention that many people with COVID-19 face severe and debilitating illness without dying.)
“If you know Biden and Obama stopped their testing– they just stopped it,” Trump bizarrely claimed. “You probably know that. I’m sure you don’t want to report it.”
Trump also mistakenly said, as he often has, that the 1918 flu pandemic started in 1917.
“But they stopped testing. Right in the middle, they just want, no more testing, and on a much lesser problem than the problem that we have, obviously, with respect to– this is the worst thing that’s happened since probably 1917. This is a very bad– all over the world. It’s 188 countries right now,” he added. “But now we are– we test more than anybody by far. And when you test, you create cases. So we’ve created cases.”
I guess this overzealous testing is why someone walked into my house and just randomly inserted a test swab in my nose yesterday. No wait. That didn’t happen. And no, @JoeBiden and @BarackObama didn’t stop their #COVID19 testing program either. Watch the clip. ⁉️ https://t.co/XvZZoqcSWn
— Krishna “Stay Home” Komanduri (@drkomanduri) July 14, 2020
This is not the first time Trump has tried to place blame on Obama and Biden for his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At a briefing of the coronavirus task force in early March, Trump also invoked his predecessor.
“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing,” Trump said. “And we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.”
According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org, no such rule or regulation was ever implemented under the previous administration.
“The Obama administration did attempt to impose a risk-based system of regulation on laboratory developed tests, or LDTs, and introduced draft guidance in 2014,” FactCheck.org said. “But that guidance was never finalized, and was withdrawn after Trump won the election in 2016.
“There is no formal document that Trump needed to rescind to allow labs to create their own coronavirus tests,” it added.
In late March, Trump falsely claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “inherited a broken test.”
“When CDC first looked at their test, the biggest problem they had is, the test didn’t work,” he said. “That wasn’t from us. That’s been there a long time. Now we have the best tests in the world.”