Trump news: President calls coronavirus testing 'double-edged sword' as 17 states sue over student visa rule

Joe Sommerlad, Alex Woodward
·2-min read
US president Donald Trump wears a face mask as he arrives to visit wounded military members and front line coronavirus healthcare workers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 11 July 2020: Chris Kleponis/Pool
US president Donald Trump wears a face mask as he arrives to visit wounded military members and front line coronavirus healthcare workers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 11 July 2020: Chris Kleponis/Pool

Donald Trump has again lashed out on Twitter against his key media ally, Fox News, accusing the network of “working so hard against the people that got them there” and saying its contributors are “all over the place”.

A move by the White House to discredit the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, by labelling him too frequently “wrong” about the coronavirus pandemic has meanwhile been derided as “atrocious” by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo denounced the administration's push to reopen schools, saying that the states is "not going to use our children as guinea pigs" or as a "litmus test" for national reopenings as he accused the president of "gross negligence" for "denying" public health experts.

The president defended his "very good" relationship with the nation's leading infectious disease expert as he falsely claimed that the US has one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates and blamed the Obama administration for US testing shortfalls, claiming that his predecessor "stopped their testing" despite the pandemic beginning three years after he left office.

During a White House roundtable discussion with law enforcement and people reflecting on their "positive experience" with police, the president repeated that coronavirus testing is a "double-edged sword" – implying that the discovery and spread of the disease also negatively impacts him.

Political rival Joe Biden's campaign criticised the president's "refusal to listen to science" and public falling out with Dr Fauci.

"The president's disgusting attempt to pass the buck by blaming the top infectious disease expert in the country ... is yet another horrible and revealing failure of leadership as the tragic death toll continues to needlessly grow," a statement said.

His latest spats come as new cases of Covid-19 continue to surge in the Sun Belt states, with Florida reporting a record 15,299 cases on Sunday and the Texas city of Houston weighing a return to lockdown.

Meanwhile, 17 states and Washington DC have sued the administration over its plans to drop certain visas for students at universities moving to online classes despite the raging pandemic.

A lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security argues that the order "fails to consider the harm to international students and their families whose lives will be upended" and that it "will also cause irreparable harm to the public health and the economy" of each state.

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