CDC Was Ordered By Trump Administration To Reduce Testing — He Wasn’t Kidding In June

Donald Trump told an audience in Tulsa in July that he had ordered a slowdown in COVID-19 testing. Now the CDC has changed guidelines. If someone has come into contact with a positive-tested COVID-19 patient, but has no symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control is no longer recommending a test to determine whether that person was infected. A new report says this was ordered by the Trump administration.

Trump promises to slow testing. CDC slows testing
[Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images]

The CDC is supposed to be a nonpartisan government agency. However, Trump has reportedly been influencing the organization to act on his political motives, rather than science-based data. The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Trump administration is interfering with COVID-19 testing guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was instructed by higher-ups within the Trump administration to modify its coronavirus testing guidelines this week to exclude people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus, according to two federal health officials.

In Tulsa in June, Donald Trump proudly declared that he had done exactly this: told his officials to slow testing down so the administration would look better, with lower numbers of cases.

This isn’t the first evidence that Trump wasn’t joking about this. After that public declaration, testing sites for press conferences were removed from the White House, and it was announced that there would be no more funding for public testing sites.

Though Trump surrogates tried to write off his “slow down testing” anecdote as a joke, the president himself responded, when asked about it, by saying, “I don’t kid.” The CDC’s new guidelines, and reports that they come from administration officials, seem to reflect that.

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