When questioned about the high number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, President Trump responded (paraphrased) "we have more testing, therefore we have more cases. If we didn't do so much testing, we would have fewer cases." The president offered this same rationale/explanation in a press conference on May 15, about a week after the first reference above.

The president is correct, but only to a point. Testing gives us the number of "identified" cases of the virus, not all who have contracted the disease. Mr. Trump has made it clear, back to the Grand Princess, he prefers the number of cases to remain low. Low numbers fit his political view of success.

Mr. Trump's reasoning is faulty and illogical. It is comparable to a person not getting a mammogram or prostate exam out of worry/fear a medical problem will be diagnosed. Not having the exam does NOT mean no disease exists — only that it is not identified. To avoid testing for COVID-19 does not mean active cases do not exist nor does it stop the virus from transmitting. Deaths and positive cases will still exist, tests or no tests, just like avoiding exams does not eliminate possible cancer.

Testing is necessary to map the spread of the disease and to assist in helping mitigate or contain the impact. Mr. Trump benefits Americans best if he presents information and numbers that give a clear, accurate and realistic understanding of the disease and not his political wishful thinking.

Thomas Murray, Alexandria

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