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President Donald Trump said in a new interview that there's such a thing as too much testing for coronavirus.
When asked where he got his information from, Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan to "read the manuals" and "read the books."
The president frequently alternates between praising himself for the US's expanding testing capability and claiming that testing is "overrated" and makes the country "look bad."
He's also falsely said that the US has the world's worst coronavirus outbreak because it does more testing than any other country.
President Donald Trump said in a new interview that there's such a thing as too much testing for coronavirus. When asked where he got his information from, the president said to "read the manuals" and "read the books."
"You know there are those that say you can test too much," Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan in an interview set to air on Monday evening. "You do know that?"
Related: 6 months of coronavirus n the USA, reviewed in 6 minutes
"Who says that?" Swan asked.
"Oh, just read the manuals," the president replied. "Read the books."
"Manuals?" Swan pressed. "What manuals."
"Read the books, read the books," Trump repeated.
Watch a preview of the exchange below:
—Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 31, 2020
The president has repeatedly alternated between praising himself for the US expanding testing for coronavirus and claiming that testing is "overrated" and makes the country "look bad.
He's also falsely claimed that the US has the worst outbreak in the world because it does more testing and contact tracing than any other country.
"Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn't have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World," Trump tweeted on Friday morning, during a House subcommittee hearing on the spread of COVID-19.
Trump's tweet came after South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who chairs the subcommittee, displayed a chart showing the spike in new cases in the US versus new cases in Europe.
The president repeated that claim during a roundtable event for seniors last month, saying, "If we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases."
And in May, he said during a meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds that "if we did very little testing, we wouldn't have the most cases. So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad."
Public-health officials and scientific experts have pointed out that while the US has rapidly expanded its testing and contact-tracing ability, that alone doesn't account for the increase in new cases.
"That states are finding more cases relative to the amount of tests they are conducting provides the strongest rebuttal to the administration's assertion that case numbers are rising because we're getting better at finding cases through increased testing," Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in The Washington Post last month.
"They tell us the opposite — that each of these states needs to do even more testing to find infections — followed by more rigorous contact tracing and isolation," Nuzzo added.
As of Friday afternoon, nearly 4.5 million people in the US had been infected with COVID-19 and over 152,000 had died as a result.
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