COVID-19 Messaging Meets Reality

President Donald Trump holds a press briefing about coronavirus testing. May 11, 2020. Image: Drew Angerer/Getty
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President Donald Trump holds a press briefing about coronavirus testing. May 11, 2020. Image: Drew Angerer/Getty

Yesterday: President Trump gave a White House Rose Garden press conference flanked by banners that proclaimed “America Leads the World in Testing.”

Today: Anthony Fauci, a coronavirus taskforce member, will testify remotely before a Senate committee. (Testimony begins at 10 a.m. EDT.) 

Fauci, director of NIAID, will warn Senators that a premature US reopening would mean “needless suffering and death,” according to The New York Times. Ignoring key reopening milestones could lead to “multiple outbreaks throughout the country,” Fauci emailed a Times reporter.

His planned testimony contradicts White House messaging that seeks to persuade Americans that sufficient testing and personal protective equipment is in place so they can safely return to work, according to Axios.

While the US has conducted more tests than other countries, it’s not doing so well per capita, Vox reports. The US has tested 26 per 1,000 people, while Denmark has reached 53, Italy 42, and Germany 33.

At yesterday’s press conference, an Asian-American reporter asked Trump about deaths in the US. He responded by telling her to “ask China” before ending the news conference abruptly.
 

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