WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC News) – President Trump blamed increased testing for the spike in COVID-19 cases in 22 states across the country. Also, the FDA pulled emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine, a medication highly promoted by the president.
As crowded bars, restaurants and beaches reveal many Americans seemingly moving on from coronavirus concerns, a spike in cases in 22 states shows the virus is not done spreading.
President Trump said Monday his administration is taking care of coronavirus “hot spots,” while also claiming increased testing is making the situation appear worse.
“If we stopped testing right now, we would show very few cases, if any,” Mr. Trump said.
Medical experts refute that.
“It’s not just there’s more testing,” says Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. “The percent of the people testing positive are also increasing.”
Every state began reopening to some degree by Memorial Day, bringing people into closer contact. Since then, mass gatherings of protesters have added a new fear about the potential spread.
Health care systems are beginning to feel the strain again from Houston to Arizona, where hospitals have activated emergency plans.
President Trump is set to hold his first campaign rally of the COVID-19 era this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has seen a significant increase in cases.
The city’s health department director tells “Tulsa World” he’s “concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends” including “our ability to ensure the president stays safe.”
Acknowledging the risk, the Trump campaign is now requiring anyone who comes to sign a liability waiver giving up the right to hold the campaign or venue responsible if they catch the virus.
Meanwhile, the FDA has revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug heavily promoted as an effective coronavirus therapy by President Trump.
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