The United States has the biggest COVID-19 testing programme in the world, better than big countries like Russia, China, India and Brazil, President Donald Trump said on Monday, asserting that America has "just about the lowest mortality rate" due to the disease in the world.
"We have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere," Trump said at a White House roundtable. More than 34 lakh Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 so far and over 1,37,000 have died due to the disease, both of which are the largest numbers among all the countries.
The huge number of positive cases, the president said, is due to the massive testing efforts undertaken by his administration, more extensive than any other country.
"We test more than anybody by far. And when you test, you create cases. So we have created cases. I can tell you that some countries, they test when somebody walks into a hospital sick or walks into maybe a doctor's office, but usually a hospital. That is the testing they do, so they do not have cases, whereas we have all these cases. So, it is a double-edged sword," he said.
At the same time, the United States has the lowest mortality rate or just about the lowest mortality rate due to the disease in the world, Trump added. "We are doing a great job. We are doing very well with vaccines and we are doing very, very well with therapeutics. I think we are going to have some very good information coming out soon," he said in response to a question.
"But we have the best and certainly, by far, the biggest testing programme anywhere in the world. If you tested China or Russia or any of the larger countries, if you just tested India, as an example, the way we test, you would see numbers that would be very surprising. Brazil too. You know, Brazil is going through a big problem, but they do not do testing like we do," Trump said.
"So we do the testing and by doing the testing, we have tremendous numbers of cases. As an example, we have done 45 million tests. If we did half that number, you would have half the cases probably -- around that number. If we did another half of that, you would have half the numbers. Everyone would be saying, 'Oh, we are doing so well on cases'," he added.
Responding to a question, Trump said what China did to the world should not be forgotten. "I think what China has done to the world with what took place -- the China plague -- you can call it the China virus, you can call it whatever you want to call it. It has about 20 different names. What they did to the world should not be forgotten," he said.
The trade deal with China that was signed early this year remains intact, the president said. "It is intact, they (China) are buying. Whether they buy or not, that is up to them. They are buying," he said.
First Published: IST