Donald Trump has reasserted his claim that the US only has the highest number of coronavirus cases worldwide because it is conducting the most rigorous testing for Covid-19.

In a flurry of tweets on Tuesday, the US president wrote that the US is ※testing far more than any other country§, adding that it is ※by far the most, and best, in the world§.

At a rally in Tulsa over the weekend, Mr Trump said he wanted to ※slow the testing down§ in order to minimise the official number of cases.

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White House staff subsequently said that he made the comments ※in jest§, however he has continued to suggest that coronavirus testing in the US should be slowed down in various interviews and on Twitter.

Data reveals, however, that the US is not performing the as high a level of testing on its population as other countries.

The US has performed more than 25 million tests for coronavirus. But with a population of 328.2 million, this only amounts to around 80 tests per thousand people.

This ranks the US 14th in the world and is below other badly hit countries like Italy and Russia.

Despite performing less tests in terms of its relative population size, the US has still managed to register a significantly higher proportion of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Trump also claimed that the US had tested ※probably 20 million people more than anybody else§. This is not true, as Russia has performed more than 17 million tests for Covid-19 每 just 8 million less than the US 每 despite its population being less than half the size.

In the early days of the pandemic, the US was late to introduce mass testing compared to other countries like South Korea.

Testing is one of the key ways to understand and control the spread of the deadly virus. Slowing down testing at a time when several US states are experiencing a surge in outbreaks could ultimately lead to more infections and deaths.

Comparing the US to a region with a similar popular size also calls into question Trump's claim that more testing results in more cases.

In western Europe, the number of tests has been roughly proportionate to that of the US. Yet there has been one million more confirmed cases in the US.

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