States and cities all but completely shut down earlier this year in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. Many of those state and local authorities have now eased up on restrictions, allowing people to return to their pre-pandemic habits and behaviors. In many of those regions, COVID-19 cases are now on the rise, but the White House is pushing the message that COVID-19 spikes are due to an increase in testing and nothing more.
President Donald Trump said during a meeting on Monday, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.” Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on that messaging in a call with several states governors later in the day, trying to downplay any new outbreaks in their states.
“I would just encourage you all, as we talk about these things, to make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing,” Pence told the governors, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times.