President Donald Trump said Thursday that there have been more than two million coronavirus tests completed in the United States but suggested that mass testing is not going to happen.
“I’m reporting today that we passed two million tests completed in the United States,” Trump said during the White House coronavirus task force’s news briefing, adding that the tests are “highly sophisticated and highly accurate.”
The President has been celebrating the growing number of coronavirus tests conducted in the US as a victory since the US surpassed South Korea last month as the country with the highest number of tests administered. However, compared to South Korea, the US has conducted far fewer tests per capita given the US population is more than six times larger than South Korea’s.
Epidemiologists generally use rates like tests per capita when comparing different countries. “I think the important clarification is that we should be considering the number of cases per 1 million population and considering a rate of people tested and not the absolute numbers,” said Jennifer Horney, founding director of the University of Delaware’s epidemiology program. “The absolute number of tests is not very meaningful.”