Asked whether his comment on slowing down testing was a joke, President Trump told reporters “I don’t kid" as he departed the White House for campaign events in Arizona.
Trump again said that testing is a "double-edged sword" and praised the country's testing program saying the US has the "greatest testing program anywhere in the world."
What this is about: In a shocking admission during his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on Saturday night, Trump said he had told officials in his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because of the rising number of cases in America.
Some administration officials had tried to downplay Trump's remarks from Saturday's rally.
An administration official told CNN later Saturday that the President was "obviously kidding," and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that the remark was made "in jest." On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also told reporters that Trump was speaking "in jest."
"He has not directed (coronavirus testing to be slowed), and, in fact, I would note that first we continue to test about 500,000 per day, about half a million people per day," McEnany said in the briefing. "$1.8 billion dollars is invested in NIH to find new testing capabilities, any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact."
"It was a comment that he made in jest," McEnany added.