• President Donald Trump has expressed that he wants the number of coronavirus cases in the United States kept as low as possible, Politico reported Saturday evening.
  • He has also been monitoring the daily counts of US cases and how they compare to other countries.
  • On Friday, Trump even publicly discussed keeping a cruise ship with potentially infected passengers offshore to keep the number of US coronavirus cases low.
  • As of March 7, 19 people in the US had died after contracting the virus and more than 400 people had tested positive.
  • But due to a nationwide testing shortage, the actual number of coronavirus cases is likely far higher.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has grown fixated on the number of coronavirus cases in the United States and expressed that he wants them kept as low as possible, Politico reported Saturday evening.

Trump has been monitoring the daily counts of US cases and how they compare to other countries, according to Politico.

As of March 7, 19 people in the US had died after contracting the virus and more than 400 people had tested positive. But due to a nationwide testing shortage, the actual number of coronavirus cases is likely far higher.

Trump even publicly discussed keeping a cruise ship with potentially infected passengers offshore to keep the number of US coronavirus cases low.

“I like the numbers being where they are,” Trump said during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”

Politico, citing 13 current and former White House officials and people close to the Trump administration, reported Saturday that Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak by rewarding those who bear good news and spurning those with bad news.

donald trump mike pence

President Donald Trump with Vice President Mike Pence, speaks during a coronavirus briefing with Airline CEOs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Washington.

Associated Press/Manuel Balce Ceneta


For instance, health officials have sought to appease Trump by emphasizing any positive news in briefings, according to Politico.

Other officials have also sought to keep a lid on other, negative information. For instance, the CDC hasn’t confirmed how many people in the US have been tested, Politico noted.

Trump has also grown apoplectic when government officials have warned the public about the threat posed by the coronavirus.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned on February 25 that “the disruption to everyday life might be sever,” including school closures and mass efforts to have employees work from home.

After her warning ignited a media frenzy and sent the stock market reeling, Trump shouted at his secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, about how Messonnier had frightened people, according to The New York Times.

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