President Trump said Saturday he told officials to “slow down” testing to lower the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in the country. While his team initially claimed that the statement was a joke, Trump contradicted that claim Tuesday, saying, “I don’t kid.” But top public health experts testifying before Congress on Tuesday denied having been told to scale back testing and reiterated the importance of continuing widespread screenings to hamper the spread of the virus.
China, meanwhile, revealed that it has tested at least 90 million people, more than three times the number tested in the United States according to Trump.
Here are some significant developments:
- Florida has changed how it records intensive care unit occupancy by coronavirus patients in a move that will improve its hospitalization rates ahead of plans to further open the state in July.
- Texas Children’s Hospital began admitting adult patients, as hospitalizations have soared in Harris County in and around Houston. Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) urged Texans to stay inside to avoid spreading the virus. “The safest place for you is at your home,” he said Tuesday.
- Officials in Phoenix on Tuesday declined to enforce local requirements to wear masks in public spaces at Trump’s rally, where a crowd of supporters largely bucked the mandate and ignored social distancing guidelines.
- The state of Virginia has proposed its own set of coronavirus-era safety rules that companies must implement to protect workers from infection — a first in the country and a potential way forward for other states in the face of federal inaction.
- China has conducted more than 90 million nucleic acid coronavirus tests since the pandemic began, a senior Chinese official said Wednesday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The total is more than three times the number of tests that President Trump says have been carried out in the United States.
- Professional sports continue to hit roadblocks as they try to start back up. Three players, including Megan Rapinoe, pulled out of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup tournament set for this weekend. Tennis star Novak Djokovic became the fourth participant in the Adria Tour to test positive for the coronavirus. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic also tested positive, as the National Basketball Association entered Phase 2 of its reopening plans on Tuesday. Major League Baseball, meanwhile, announced Tuesday on Twitter that its back-and-forth with the players’ union has been resolved and that athletes were reporting to training camps.