Testing czar rejects Trump's claim that COVID-19 cases rising is a 'function of testing'

Adm. Brett Giroir, director of the U.S. coronavirus diagnostic testing, testifies at a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump has suggested that COVID-19 cases are only rising in the United States because of the amount of testing being conducted, but the administration's coronavirus testing czar is shooting that idea down.

Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the Trump administration's coronavirus testing efforts, explained in a Wednesday appearance on Today that the rising number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is not simply due to more testing.

"We do believe, and the data show, that the cases are going up," he said. "It's not just a function of testing. Yes, we're getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up."

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The U.S. recently set a new record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in one day with over 83,000. Trump, who has criticized news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this week complained of a "fake news media conspiracy" while claiming that "cases [are] up because we TEST, TEST, TEST." He also asserted at a recent rally that "we have so many" coronavirus cases "because we do more testing." Meanwhile, the White House science policy office this week listed as one of Trump's accomplishments in office "ending the COVID-19 pandemic."

Giroir explained to Today, though, that "we know" cases are increasing "because hospitalizations are going up" and "deaths are increasing," as well.

"So we do assess that the cases are actually going up," he said. "They're real." Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.