Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Health and Human Services Department, denied Wednesday he had ever been asked to test fewer Americans to make the pandemic look less serious than it really is.
Sen Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, asked Giroir, who heads testing efforts for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, about comments President Trump has made repeatedly saying the reason the US has so many cases of Covid-19 is because the US does more testing.
When Durbin asked during Wednesday’s Senate Appropriations Hearing if ending testing would end the spread of Covid-19, Giroir answered, “No, sir.”
“Let me just clarify, that the number of cases are going to be the number of cases,” Giroir said. “We do more testing so we can detect more and more cases, that’s a good thing.”
Detecting as many cases as possible means that they can be appropriately isolated and contact tracing can happen, he said.
“It is true that the more testing you do, the more cases you will discover,” Giroir said. “But the cases are there no matter what.”
Giroir said that he has “never been asked, told, hinted, suggested that we should decrease testing.” He said every time the task force meets, they work to expand testing.
“My job is to expand testing as much as feasibly, even infeasibly, possible and get the right test to the right people at the right time,” he said. “That’s been my mission. No one’s told me to alter that.”