Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Thursday that he personally thinks testing for the coronavirus is "overrated," arguing that it has led to an increase in confirmed cases in the U.S. that "makes us look bad."

Why it matters: The ability to test and isolate patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus is viewed by health experts as critical to being able to safely reopen the economy.

  • While increased testing can lead to a higher number of confirmed cases, the rates of growth in Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Florida over the last two weeks are not solely attributable to more testing.

What he's saying: "I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history," Trump told WSJ.

  • He also claimed, without evidence, that China may have intentionally allowed the virus to spread beyond its borders to damage the U.S. economy: "They’re saying, man, we’re in a mess. The United States is killing us. Don’t forget, my economy during the last year and a half was blowing them away. And the reason is the tariffs."
  • "I don’t think they would do that," he added. "But you never know. But it has had an impact."

On the issue of face masks, which he has rarely worn in public despite the CDC's recommendation to do so, Trump claimed that people fidget with them and it makes them more likely to be infected by the virus.

  • "They put their finger on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth. And then they don’t know how they caught it?"

Go deeper: The states where coronavirus is spreading the fastest

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.

Updated Jul 10, 2020 - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.