Mike Pence reportedly urged governors to reiterate a misleading claim that coronavirus infection spikes are due to increased testing
Vice President Mike Pence told governors in a call Monday to cite increased testing as an explanation for the recent spikes in coronavirus cases across the US, The New York Times reported. Data analysis by the Times shows the claim, which has been touted by the Trump administration, is misleading, as "positive case rates are increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests" in at least 14 states. On the call, the vice president compared coronavirus cases to "embers" to be stamped out. However, health experts, even including those at the White House, have iterated that there is a long road ahead in the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Vice President Mike Pence urged governors during a call to use a misleading claim to explain the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in coronavirus cases across the US, The New York Times reported Monday. The claim, which has repeatedly been touted by the Trump administration, says the reasoning behind what Pence called "intermittent" spikes coronavirus cases in various states is increased testing, The Times reported. "I would just encourage you all, as we talk about these things, to make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing," Pence told governors, according to audio obtained by The Times. "And that in most of the cases where we are seeing some marginal rise in number, that's more a result of the extraordinary work you're doing." "But also encourage people with the news that we are safely reopening the country," he continued. "That, as we speak today, because people are going back to hospitals and elective surgery and getting ordinary care, hospitalization rates may be going up. But according to our most current information, hospitalizations for coronavirus are going down across the country." According to a Times data analysis, "positive case rates are increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests" in at least 14 states. White House health expert Dr. Deborah Birx also said that coronavirus hospitalization rates are on the decline, but that is not the case in some states. On the call, the vice president compared coronavirus cases to "embers" to be stamped out. "The president often talks about embers," Pence said. "As we go through the summer, as we see, overall, as you all know, around the country, that despite a mass increase in testing, we are still averaging roughly 20,000 cases a day, which is significantly down from six weeks ago." President Donald Trump also remarked on testing on Monday, saying there would be very few cases of the coronavirus if the US stopped its testing and contact tracing. The comment was just the latest in Trump's suggestions that more tests could make the country look bad by increasing the number of recorded cases, Business Insider's Sonam Sheth reported. Health experts, even including those at the White House, have iterated that there is a long road ahead in the COVID-19 pandemic. Top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who works with the White House coronavirus task force, said in a video interview with BIO Digital last week that the pandemic has evolved to become his "worst nightmare" due to its rapid spread in the US and around the globe. "In the period of four months, it has devastated the world," Fauci said. Read the full story at The New York Times »Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
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The White House wants to cut $35 billion of funding for extra coronavirus testing and the CDC from a relief bill
The Trump administration is seeking to cut funding to boost coronavirus testing from a new relief...The Trump administration is seeking to cut funding to boost coronavirus testing from a new relief bill, reported The Washington Post. The White House is also reportedly seeking to exclude funding for measures to fight the pandemic at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pentagon, and the State Department. Trump has falsely claimed that increased testing is why infection rates are rising in the US, but public health experts say this is false and testing is measuring a real increase in cases. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Trump administration is seeking to remove $25 billion in funding for coronavirus testing from a new Republican bill, The Washington Post reported. According to the report citing sources close to negotiations over the bill, the White House is also seeking to change the bill to remove $10 billion funding for initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pentagon and the State Department to battle the pandemic. Sources later confirmed the report toThe New York Times and CNN. The new bill designed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will provide billions in relief funds for struggling businesses as the coronavirus continues to sweep through states in the south and west. The US has been the country most severely impacted by the pandemic. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that 70,000 new cases are being recorded per day and the disease has killed 140,000 people. "Cases and deaths are now both rising again, including in many red states," Sam Hammond, a policy expert at the right-leaning think tank the Niskanen Center, told the Post. "Senate Republicans have asked for funding to help states purchase test kits in bulk. As it currently stands, the main bottleneck to a big ramp-up in testing is less technical than the White House's own intransigence." Cases declined for several weeks amid widespread lockdown measures, but have spiked again in several states where, according to Dr Anthony Fauci of the White House's coronavirus task force, the lockdown was lifted prematurely. But President Trump has refused to accept that cases are continuing to climb, insisting that the rise in new cases is the result of extra testing being carried out by authorities. The White House has also been sharply critical of the CDC's performance. According to the Washington Post, it also believes some of the billions previously earmarked for track and testing remain unspent. Public health officials say that the data is tracking a real increase in the number of cases in the community, and that the only way to monitor and effectively fight the pandemic is through widespread testing. Trump told a rally in June that he had ordered fewer tests to be conducted, as he continues to push for the economy to gear up again ahead of November's presidential election. In a statement to the Post, Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign criticized the bid to cut testing funds as cases continue to climb. "Donald Trump is turning his back on his most important responsibility to the American people because, in the words of his own advisers, he 'doesn't want to be distracted by' the worst public health crisis in 100 years," said Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
Dr Fauci describes ‘very disturbing week’ as tally tops Brazil’s single-day record and infections rise in...Dr Fauci describes ‘very disturbing week’ as tally tops Brazil’s single-day record and infections rise in most statesThe US reported a daily global record of more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as infections rose in the vast majority of states and America’s top public health expert spoke of a “very disturbing week”.Hospitals in some of the new hotspots in the US south and west put themselves on a crisis footing and face becoming overwhelmed. Florida reported almost 10,000 new cases in the past 24 hours and that state along with Texas, Arizona and California together made up almost half of the total of new infections. Continue reading...
New daily coronavirus cases rising in 38 statesWhite House claims only ‘embers’ of virus leftThe top...New daily coronavirus cases rising in 38 statesWhite House claims only ‘embers’ of virus leftThe top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci testified before the Senate on the government’s coronavirus efforts on Tuesday, as cases continue to soar and states around the country reverse their reopening efforts.He did so after the White House insisted the outbreak had been reduced to “embers” but after the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Anne Schuchat, insisted: “This is really the beginning.” Continue reading...