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Pelosi on Trump testing remarks: 'The American people are owed answers'

Pelosi on Trump testing remarks: 'The American people are owed answers'
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Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed On The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Americans are owed answers about President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE's claim during his rally on Saturday that he asked aides to “slow the testing down.”

Pelosi called for answers from the White House coronavirus task force members who are expected to testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. 

“The American people are owed answers about why President Trump wants less testing when experts say much more is needed,” she said in a statement.

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The Speaker’s comments come after Trump said during his Tulsa, Okla., rally Saturday that he called on his aides to reduce the speed of coronavirus testing because the higher number of identified cases made the country look bad. 

Trump appeared to make the comments in jest, and several White House and campaign officials have since said he was joking. But a number of Democrats criticized the remarks, including presumptive presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE’s campaign, which called them “outrageous.”

“Testing, tracing, treatment and social distancing are the only tools we have to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but President Trump orders his Administration to slow down the testing that saves lives,” Pelosi wrote. 

“The President’s efforts to slow down desperately needed testing to hide the true extent of the virus mean more Americans will lose their lives,” she added. 

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Pelosi closed her statement by saying that Trump is “ethically unfit and intellectually unprepared to lead” and requesting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) allow the House-passed HEROES Act to go to the Senate floor.

During his rally, the president labeled testing a “double-edged sword.”

“We’ve tested now 25 million people. It’s probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany’s done a lot. South Korea’s done a lot,” he said. 

"Here’s the bad part," he added. "When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please!'"

The U.S. has confirmed more than 2.2 million cases of COVID-19, leading to at least 119,796 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.