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FACT CHECK: Trump Claims U.S. Testing For Coronavirus Most Per Capita — It's Not

Health care professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus at a testing site in Phoenix.
Christian Petersen
/
Getty Images
Health care professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus at a testing site in Phoenix.

During his Thursday night briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump repeated a claim that the United States has done more testing for the contagion on a per capita basis than any other country.

"We're now conducting well over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day," Trump said. "It's over 100,000 tests a day. And these are accurate tests, and they're moving rapidly, which is more than any other country in the world, both in terms of the raw number and also on a per capita basis, the most."

While the United States has improved its testing numbers significantly, it still lags behind Germany and South Korea, for example, in terms of per capita testing.

During Wednesday's briefing, Vice President Pence said more than 1.2 million tests have been performed on Americans. Given the population of the U.S. (about 327 million), that's roughly 1 in every 273 people, as of April 2.

That's a better testing per capita rate than the United Kingdom, which has tested about 1 in every 404 people. (The U.K.'s population is about 66 million, and it's tested 163,194 people.)

South Korea, with its population of 51.5 million, has done 431,743 tests, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's approximately 1 in every 119 people.

Germany has done even better. It has tested about 1 in 90 people — 918,460, with a population of 82.8 million. Germany also happens to have one of the lowest fatality rates from COVID-19.

With 581,232 tests conducted, according to the Italian health ministry, and a population of roughly 60.5 million, Italy's testing per capita is on par with South Korea — about 1 in every 104.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.
Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.