TULSA, Okla. — President Donald Trump is suggesting to supporters that he has told members of his administration to slow the rate of coronavirus testing in the United States.
Speaking at a campaign rally Saturday night in Oklahoma, Trump said the United States has tested 25 million people, and far more than any other country. He also told the crowd that more testing leads to finding more cases of people who test positive.
Trump said that “so I said to my people slow the testing down, please.”
Teams of people wearing goggles, masks, gloves and blue gowns checked the temperatures of those entering the area where Trump held the campaign rally in Tulsa.
The Trump campaign had pledged to conduct temperature checks as rally-goers entered and to offer face masks. Some of the people entering wore masks while their temperatures were checked with handheld thermometers that appeared not to touch the skin.
Oklahoma’s health department on Saturday reported 331 new virus cases to bring the total number of confirmed cases to 10,037, with 368 deaths due to COVID-19. The actual number is likely higher because many people have not been tested.
Tulsa County has both the most confirmed cases and virus-related deaths in Oklahoma. Trump’s rally is taking place at a 19,000-seat indoor arena in the city of Tulsa.
Tulsa Health Department director Bruce Dart had said he would have liked to see the rally postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread of the virus in Tulsa and Tulsa County.