Sunday June 21, 2020
‘Slow the Testing Down, Please’
Most news reports about Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last night focus on the fact that only 6,200 people showed up after the campaign bragged it had sold 800,000 tickets. There was supposed to be a second speech, outside, in the overflow area, but that area was empty. Where were all the people? There are rumors that K-Pop fans and Tik-Tok teens bought a mess of the tickets to mess with the campaign. Who knows?
The bigger story to me is that the president of the United States, in the midst of a huge economic downturn caused by a global pandemic that's hit the United States harder than any other country, and where Covid-19 numbers are again on the rise, repeated what we all know: He doesn't want to know the numbers.
“When you do testing to that extent, you are gonna find more people, you‘re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people, ’Slow the testing down, please.' They test, and they test. We have tests that people don't know what's going on.”
His campaign says he was joking but we know he's not joking; he's said it before. That cruise ship off the west coast in March that couldn't find a port? “I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.” That speech in Pennsylvania in May? “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn't do any testing, we would have very few cases.” It's how he thinks. It's who he is. He's ratings-obsessed and these are bad ratings. Better to not know. The more you know your enemy, the better your chance of defeating them, but he doesn't want to know this enemy.
And by the way: This is exactly the reason why the Covid response in the U.S. has been so abyssmal. It's the exact reason why so many people are getting infected and so many are dying. This. Him. His idiocy.
The Biden campaign's response was fast and good:
The Biden campaign released a statement after the rally, saying that in “an outrageous moment that will be remembered long after tonight's debacle of a rally, President Trump just admitted that he's putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people.”
The U.S. has 2.2 million confirmed cases of Covid and 120,000 Covid-related deaths. Yesterday, 32,500 new cases were confirmed. That's our highest daily figure since May 1.