05:38 GMT29 September 2020
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    China has conducted over 90 million nucleic acid COVID-19 tests since the start of its novel coronavirus outbreak, the state-run Xinhua News Agency announced Wednesday.

    Citing remarks from Guo Yanhong, an official with China’s National Health Commission, Xinhua reported that medical sites within the country had carried out roughly 90.41 million nucleic tests.

    That total is three times higher than the number of tests conducted by the United States, which has completed about 30 million tests so far, according to the most recent tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While China has conducted many more tests overall, its population is more than three times the size of the US’. 

    According to CGTN, a news channel based in Beijing and owned by China Central Television, China has increased its nucleic acid testing capacity from around 1.26 million tests every day in early March to about 3.78 million tests per day in June, as the capital city of Beijing faces a new COVID-19 outbreak. China’s National Health Commission also recently revealed that its number of COVID-19 testing centers has more than doubled since early March.

    Beijing’s increased testing comes after US President Donald Trump said during his Saturday kickoff campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that he told officials in his administration to slow down COVID-19 testing.

    "You know testing is a double-edged sword … Here's the bad part ... 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,” Trump said. 

    Later on Saturday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro attempted to pull back on the president’s comments, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that the president was “obviously kidding” during what was “a light moment for him at the rally.”

    The US still has the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the world, having confirmed almost 2.5 million cases, and is expected to see that total increase as cases surge in several states including Arizona, Texas, California and Florida.

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