President Donald J. Trump said he told his people to slow down testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That was followed by an explanation from the adults who supervise the president. They explained that Trump was speaking “tongue in cheek.” 

That COVID-19! What a cornucopia of side-splitting material that is! 

OK, it makes you a little sad just thinking about all those folks who died before they got to hear it. How many deaths are there now, 120,000? 

Anyhow, a reporter subsequently asked him whether in fact he had said that testing should be slowed down. Here’s the punch line … wait for it …

"If it did slow down, frankly, I think we're way ahead of ourselves if you want to know the truth," Trump said. "We've done too good a job."

Catch your breath. Laughter really is the best medicine! But there’s more. An advisor must have pointed out that Trump seemed to have admitted ordering a testing slowdown. So, later, another reporter asked the same question.

"No," he answered, "but I think we put ourselves at a disadvantage, I told my people. I said, 'We've gotten so good at testing ... We test much more than any other nation,' so you hear about all these cases."

"So, instead of 25 million tests, let's say we did 10 million tests. We'd look like we were doing much better because we'd have far fewer cases.

Trump also said his comment in Tulsa was "semi-tongue in cheek" and asserted that "when you do more testing you find more cases."

It’s understandable if you are not laughing.

In the speech, and after the making the statements quoted immediately above, he then riffed on a hypothetical child who was COVID-19 symptomatic and had been tested positive, thereby becoming a dreaded “case.” According to Trump, such kids are “in no danger whatsoever.” This from the same guy who was sure that Clorox should be studied as a curative. And, he’s wrong again. 

Robert E. Little Jr.

Albemarle County

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