Trump refuses to say if he slowed down coronavirus – Health News Today

Welcome to Monday’s Overnight Health Care.

Top health officials will testify in the House on Tuesday, giving an opportunity for Democrats to grill them about the administration’s coronavirus response.   

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project launches new ad hitting Trump over rally turnout Bolton defends not testifying: ‘I don’t think it would have made a difference’ Bolton says he hopes history will remember Trump ‘as a one-term president’ MORE refused to say if he actually told staff to slow down COVID-19 testing in order to make it seem like there were fewer cases. And in non-COVID news, LGBTQ advocates filed a lawsuit trying to block a new rule rolling back non-discrimination protections for transgender patients. 

We’ll start with Trump:

Trump refuses to say if he slowed down coronavirus testing

President Trump on Monday refused to say whether he told staff to slow down COVID-19 testing to make it look like the U.S. had fewer cases, while White House officials denied he had ever given such an order. 

Trump has been blaming rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the U.S. on increased testing, arguing the country has been doing “too good a job.”

“If we did slow it down, we wouldn’t show nearly as many cases,” he said in an interview with Scripps News. 

Asked again if he had asked to slow testing down, he replied: “Frankly I think we’re way ahead of ourselves if you want to know the truth. We’ve done too good a job, because every time we go out with 25 million tests, you’re going to find more people so then they say ‘oh, we have more cases in the United States.’ The reason we have more cases [is] because we do more testing than any other country by far.” 

Context: Trump generated outrage this weekend when he said at his first campaign rally in months that he told staff to “slow the testing down, please.” Trump aides have said the comments were a joke. At least one governor — Nevada’s Steve Sisolak (D) — told Vice President Pence in a conference calls with other governors that Trump’s comments were not helpful. Pence and other government officials have attributed increases in COVID-19 cases to increased testing, but experts say that is only partly true. 

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Trump health officials to testify on continued dangers of coronavirus pandemic

Four of the Trump administration’s top health officials will testify in front of a House committee on Tuesday, giving House Democrats a rare opportunity to grill administration officials about their response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Oversight efforts have been stymied by the White House’s policy that senior officials are not allowed to testify without permission from chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsWhen will Americans — all Americans — declare that enough is enough? Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week House GOP delays police reform bill MORE.

Who will be there: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)…