President Donald Trump on Monday said, without evidence, that recent spikes in COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. are a “fake news media conspiracy” and that reporting on them amounts to pre-election politics.
“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Many young people who heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4th., topic will totally change. VOTE!”
This fall, cases, hospitalizations and deaths have risen in all the areas of the country, but the Midwest and and Rocky Mountain regions have been particularly hard hit. In addition, the percentage of positive test results has also risen steadily in October — which contradicts Trump’s claim that the number of tests is responsible for increased caseload.
Trump’s assessment that rising positive tests are a politically driven “conspiracy” comes two days after numerous aides to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the coronavirus. The vice president is the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force. Despite this, Pence has said that he will continue to travel and campaign in the final days of the presidential election, which will be held next Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Trump himself contracted the virus and was hospitalized for a few days. The first lady and their son, Barron, also contracted COVID-19, as did a number of White House officials and prominent Republicans, including senators and the chairwoman of the GOP.
On Saturday, 84,000 new cases were reported in the U.S., the second-highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic. Cases are rising in 45 states as epidemiologists warn that the next wave of infections coming this winter could be even deadlier than the first peak seen in April and May.