“Wrong”: Trump calls out Fauci over coronavirus cases surge

“Wrong”: Trump calls out Fauci over coronavirus cases surge

“Wrong”: Trump calls out Fauci over coronavirus cases surge

President Trump called out Anthony Fauci Saturday in a comment retweeting a video of the NIAID director explaining why coronavirus cases have been surging in the U.S.

Driving the news: In the video of Friday’s testimony, Fauci explained that while European countries shut 95% of their economies, the U.S. “functionally shut down only about 50%.” Trump responded, “Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000.

“If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!”

— Trump’s comment on Twitter

Reality check: The rise in COVID-19 cases in early July came as new infections rose faster than the number of completed tests.

By the numbers: More than 154,300 Americans have died of the novel coronavirus as of Saturday night, Johns Hopkins data shows.

  • Over 4.6 million people have tested positive for the virus from over 56 million tests in the U.S. per Johns Hopkins. Almost 1.5 million have recovered.

The big picture: During his testimony, Fauci explained that the increase could be attributed to several factors, “one of which was that in the attempt to reopen, that in some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out.”

  • In other states where officials did abide by the guidlines, “the people that were in the state actually were congregating in crowds and not wearing masks,” Fauci added.

Of note: Fauci has been at odds with Trump and members of his administration in recent weeks over the handling of the pandemic.

  • Trump questioned at a briefing on Tuesday why Fauci has a much higher approval rating than him, noting the NIAID director is “working for this administration.”

Go deeper: Coronavirus testing still can’t keep up with demand

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