Top U.S. health officials say they were never told to slow down Covid-19 testing, contradicting Trump
Four key government health care officials said Tuesday that despite recent remarks from President Trump, they were never ordered to “slow down” diagnostic testing for Covid-19. Their testimony at a congressional hearing came just three days after the president, at a campaign rally, told supporters that he had ordered a deceleration of Covid-19 testing. …“When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down, please.’” White House aides quickly scrambled to downplay the remarks, insisting that the president was speaking in jest. Trump doubled down on Tuesday, however, telling a reporter “I don’t kid” and again referring to Covid-19 testing as a “double-edged sword.” Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers alluded to the president’s remarks as they questioned the four federal witnesses, three of whom were appointed by Trump: Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease researcher; Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC; assistant health secretary Brett Giroir; and Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the FDA.