White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says US President Donald Trump was being “tongue in cheek” when he claimed at a campaign rally in Oklahoma that he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing.
Navarro said on CNN's ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday that Trump made the comment in a “light moment”.
During Saturday's rally in Tulsa, Trump explained that the “bad part” of widespread testing is that it leads to logging more virus cases. New cases have recently spiked in several US states, but not just due to testing.
The United States has tested over 25 million people for the novel coronavirus. The country has reported more than 2.2 million confirmed cases and about 120,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. The real numbers are believed to be higher.
In response to Trump's remarks, Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden criticised him for putting politics ahead of the safety and health of Americans.