When: Monday, May 11
The claim: America has “developed a testing capacity unmatched and unrivaled anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close.”
The truth: The United States is still not testing enough people and is lagging behind the testing and tracing capabilities that other countries have developed. The president’s testing czar, Brett Giroir, and Fauci confirmed the need for more testing at a May 12 Senate hearing too. They said that the country won’t be able to perform 50 million tests, about what the country needs to safely reopen, until the fall.
Another claim: The United States has conducted more testing “than all other countries together!”
The truth: By May 18, when Trump last made this claim, the U.S. had conducted more tests than any other country. But it had not conducted more tests than the rest of the world combined. (As of May 27, more than 14 million tests have been administered in America.)
When: Multiple times
The claim: “Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country.”
The truth: COVID-19 cases are not rising because of “our big-number testing.” Outside the Northeast, the share of tests conducted that come back positive is increasing, with the sharpest spike happening in southern states. In some states, such as Arizona and Florida, the number of new cases being reported is outpacing any increase in the states’ testing ability. And as states set new daily case records and report increasing hospitalizations, all signs point to a worsening crisis.
On Travel Bans and Travelers
When: Wednesday, March 11
The claim: The United States would suspend “all travel from Europe, except the United Kingdom, for the next 30 days,” Trump announced in an Oval Office address.
The truth: The travel restriction would not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, or their families returning from Europe. At first, it applied specifically to the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen Area, not all of Europe. Trump later announced the inclusion of the United Kingdom and Ireland in the ban.
Another claim: In the same address, Trump said the travel restrictions would “not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo but various other things as we get approval.”
The truth: Trump followed up in a tweet, explaining that trade and cargo would not be subject to the restrictions.
When: Thursday, March 12
The claim: All U.S. citizens arriving from Europe would be subject to medical screening, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine if necessary. “If an American is coming back or anybody is coming back, we’re testing,” Trump said. “We have a tremendous testing setup where people coming in have to be tested … We’re not putting them on planes if it shows positive, but if they do come here, we’re quarantining.”
The truth: Testing is already severely limited in the United States. It is not true that all Americans returning to the country are being tested, nor that anyone is being forced to quarantine, CNN has reported.