Oct 28, 2020 - Health

Trump's testing czar: COVID surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the federal government's coronavirus testing response, pushed back on Wednesday against President Trump's continued claims that rising coronavirus cases are a product of increased testing.

The big picture: Every available piece of data shows that the pandemic is getting worse again across the country. Hospitalizations are on the rise — and some hospitals are warning that they could soon be overwhelmed — while 13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day.

What he's saying: "But, between July, August, September, October now, we do believe and the data show that the cases are going up. It's not just a function of testing. Yes, we're getting more cases identified. But the cases are actually going up. And we know that too because hospitalizations are going up."

  • "And we do know that deaths are increasing, unfortunately."

Giroir emphasized that "wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, especially indoors," and increasing testing are all crucial strategies against COVID.

  • “What I would want to emphasize is that we will have a vaccine. We will have a safe and effective vaccine," Giroir said. "But until that time we have to do what we can do.”
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