Donald Trump’s US COVID-19 data questioned as number of cases and tests drop dramatically

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The US has reported an average of 52,875 new cases over the last week, a drop of 19 percent from 65,285 two weeks ago. But testing for the virus has also dropped, with this week seeing 716,000 tests a day compared to two weeks ago, which saw 814,000. CNBC analysed the data sets from Johns Hopkins University.

The drop in testing has skewed data in some of the hardest hit states in the US.

Texas, one of the hotspots for the virus, has seen new cases fall by 10 percent compared to data from two weeks ago.

Testing in the state has also dropped however, with a 53 percent reduction in the same timeframe.

Despite the drop in testing, the number of positive coronavirus tests in Texas has soared to 24 percent.

Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, has said the drop in testing for Texas is “very concerning”.

He added: “I really have come to believe we have entered a real, new, emerging crisis with testing and it is making it hard to know where the pandemic is slowing down and where it’s not.”

He also hit out at US tests taking up to 10 days to deliver results, and branded the delays as “pathetic”.

Dr Jha then said: “We can’t figure out where the outbreaks are getting better or worse because our numbers are so messed up that we’re having to squint at the data.”

The Covid Tracking Project, an American volunteer group analysing coronavirus data, reported that nationwide average testing has dropped.

But the group pointed out the drop in testing comes primarily from southern states.

They said: “Most of the decline in the 7-day average for tests completed is in the South.

“This kind of decline is not what we saw from Northeastern states as they emerged from their intense outbreaks in the Spring.”

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The drop in cases has led to some US officials to proclaim there were “signs of progress” in the country’s fight against coronavirus.

Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary at the Human and Health Services told reporters “no one’s declaring victory” yet, but there is hope the worst of the pandemic is over.

He added: “We continue to see signs of progress across the Sun Belt and diffusely throughout the country.”

A HHS spokeswoman also said: “There are less cases, and therefore less need for testing cases and contact.

“We are also not working through backlogs, which artificially inflated the tests performed. Demand for testing is down, and that is probably appropriate.”

The US has the highest amount of coronavirus cases in the world, with 5,195,195 according to Johns Hopkins University.

US President Donald Trump has previously claimed the reason the country’s cases are so high is because of mass testing.

In a July 14 press conference, he said: “Think of this, if we didn’t do testing, instead of testing over 40 million people, if we did half the testing, we would have half the cases.”

In June, he said at a campaign rally: “I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’”

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