U.S. President Donald Trump posted a slew of tweets on Monday accusing the media of intentionally whipping up a frenzy over the rising Coronavirus caseload, while he blamed the high numbers on increased testing.
“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy,” Trump said in one tweet.
While testing numbers are rising, so are hospitalisations, a sign that people are getting seriously ill in greater numbers.
More than 80,000 cases were reported in one day over the weekend, a record high, and the seven-day rolling average remains elevated at levels not seen in several months.
“COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them [the media], in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers.
“Should be an election law violation!” Trump wrote in another tweet.
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appeared to have given up on fighting the virus.
“We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said, saying the Federal Government would focus on vaccines and medicines.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Meadows tried to walk back his comments, saying the White House was working to “defeat” the pandemic, rather than simply contain it.
Meanwhile, there was a new coronavirus outbreak among White House staff, centred around people who work with Vice President Mike Pence.