Lack of testing remains a huge problem in the United States.
Donald Trump praised himself again on Wednesday for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, citing recent figures showing that the number of reported coronavirus cases in the United States had passed 1 million.
"The only reason the U.S. has reported one million cases of CoronaVirus is that our Testing is sooo much better than any other country in the World," Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning. "Other countries are way behind us in Testing, and therefore show far fewer cases!"
On Tuesday, officials from Johns Hopkins University reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States had reached 1,012,000, with 58,356 deaths.
As many have since noted, that death toll is higher than the number of American troops killed in the Vietnam War.
Despite Trump's claim on Wednesday, experts say that lack of testing in the United States remains a huge problem and is in fact the biggest obstacle to the nation returning to normal.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, 5,795,728 total test have been processed in the United States since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Of those, 1,005,592 have come back positive. In the past week, an average of less than 230,000 tests have been processed each day.
David Dausey, provost and professor of health science at Duquesne University, told the Arizona Republic on Friday that America's coronavirus testing remained "a colossal mess" and that "it all has to do with supply chains and the fact that these tests, and putting them together, are actually complex enough that they require ... materials from a variety of different places. And what we're running into are shortages and getting access to those materials to create the tests."
Just last week, Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said that "inadequate testing" was responsible for the current crisis.
He noted that, while he and his colleagues "believe we need to be at at least 500,000 tests a day," others "think it's a lot more than that."
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the testing shortages, falsely claiming in March that the nation's testing was "all perfect" and that "anybody that wants a test can get a test." However, lack of swabs and testing reagents early on meant many Americans outside of Trump's inner circle were unable to get tested.
Trump has repeatedly made the misleading claim that the United States has tested "far more" than any other country, ignoring per capita comparisons with other COVID-19 hot spots.
Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the death toll from the virus had passed 55,000 this week, Trump continued to downplay its threat.
"Yeah, we've lost a lot of people," he acknowledged on Monday. "But if you look at what original projections were, 2.2 million, we're probably heading to 60,000, 70,000. It's far too many; one person is too many for this. And I think we've made a lot of really good decisions."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.