CNN criticized after graphic wrongly states Trump was 'incorrect' about US virus testing claim

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CNN was criticized Friday evening for airing a graphic attempting to fact-check President Trump in real-time during his coronavirus press briefing at the White House.

In prepared remarks, Trump touted the increase of tests that are being conducted

"My administration is actively planning the next phase in an all-out war against this virus. We're now testing nearly 100,000 patients per day, more than anybody in the world," Trump said. "And we have now tested, even as of a couple of weeks ago, tested more than any other country in the world. And our capacity continues to grow."


Later on, however, CNN showed a graphic claiming Trump was "incorrect" about his testing claim.

"Trump incorrectly says U.S. tested more than anyone; per capita S. Korea has done 5x more, Italy 4x more," the graphic read.

Critics pointed out on social media that what Trump said wasn't actually "incorrect."

"But it is literally true that the U.S. has tested more than any country," Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy wrote on Twitter. "Trump didn't say that the United States has tested more than anyone on a per capita basis. You are fact-checking something he didn't even claim. BTW, this is something Dr. Deborah Birx has also said too."

He continued, "If Trump lied when he said the U.S. has conducted the most tests since we haven't done the most on a per capita basis, then by that logic CNN lied when they said the U.S. has the most coronavirus cases, since others have more on a per capita basis. Should CNN fact-check itself?"

Dunleavy shared an image of a CNN headline reading: "The United States has more coronavirus cases reported than any other country in the world."

Former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer made a similar observation.

"If 'per capita' is the new coronavirus standard, the media is going to have to stop saying America has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the world," Krakauer tweeted. "CNN is saying it’s 'incorrect' for Trump to say we’ve tested more people for coronavirus than any other country - because 'per capita' we’re not #1. So does America really have the most coronavirus cases in the world? 'Per capita' we’re actually 27th."


Trump campaign rapid response director Andrew Clark also blasted CNN for its own claim.

"President Trump said the U.S. has tested more than any other country in the world. That is factually CORRECT, a testament to the President's cutting red tape to expand testing. CNN is incorrect by saying it's incorrect.' This chyron is a sad attempt to smear @realDonaldTrump," Clark wrote. "It's one thing to have a petty fact check chyron. It's another to just be wrong."