Despite surge warning from top health officials, Trump repeats coronavirus 'going away,' uses racist description
Though the best health officials in the country disagree, President Donald Trump continues to insist that the novel corona virus "go in the right direction" - while continuing to urge states to reopen their economies and advance his reelection campaign.
Even as the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who warned lawmakers Tuesday of the need to continue or step up precautionary measures to curb what he described as a "disruptive rise," Trump said in a mega-church at Arizona hotspot full of supporters who didn't wear masks COVID-19 concerns return.
MORE: Arizona's new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to increase
"It's going away," Trump said, calling the coronavirus "the plague," and repeated that the surge in US cases could lead to an increase in tests.
PHOTO: Donald Trump speaks during a Students for Trump event at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, June 23, 2020. (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images)
Speaking to hundreds of "Students for Trump" activists, the president also reiterated the racist term "kung flu" he used most recently at his weekend rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and crossed off other nicknames, including "Wuhan" and "Chinese". Applaud virus.
"I could give you nineteen or twenty names for it, right? Wuhan started. Coronavirus, right? Kung flu. COVID-19. COVID. I said, 'What are the nineteen?' Some people can't explain what the nineteen in COVID-19 are. It's a strange name. I can give you many, many names, "said Trump.
PHOTO: Supporters listen to President Donald Trump speak during a Students for Trump event at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona on June 23, 2020. (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images)
Trump is likely to have more questions about his comments when he holds a press conference at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
Just hours before Trump spoke on Tuesday, Fauci warned lawmakers of a "disturbing wave" of cases in hot-spot states and named the one Trump was visiting, saying "the next two weeks will be crucial" to see if the shaft can be contained.
"For the moment, the next few weeks will be critical to our ability to address the operations we see in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states," said Fauci.
MORE: Fauci, other health advisers argue with President Trump over whether tests should be slowed down
Fauci and three other high-ranking officials from the nation, who had tapped the end of the pandemic and were still warning of the virus threat, found that they no longer had the President's ear.
Everyone said it was more than two weeks since they spoke to President Trump - even though they said they were still in touch with Vice President Mike Pence.
PHOTO: Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Brett P. Giroir listen to Dr. Stephen M. Hahn when he testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions Committee in Washington, DC on June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
Adm. Brett Giroir, a senior health and social worker who is responsible for testing, said to the committee at the end of the hearing: "I'm very careful and I still don't sleep well at night because we still have a long way to go . "
MORE: After Trump's bleak return rally, the guilt game intensifies
With the number of US coronavirus cases and fatalities rising rapidly across areas across the country, Trump is likely to address the separation between his senior health officials' council and his campaign perrogatives in a press conference with the Polish president on Wednesday afternoon.
Trump also scolded protesters who overthrew monuments at the Tuesday rally, and continued to push conspiracy theories around states promoting pandemic mail-in polls, saying, "I believe this will be the most corrupt choice in our country's history be."
MORE: Trump swears prison for "anarchists" who overthrow monuments, warns protesters trying to establish "Black House Autonomous Zone"
"Our country has not grown great with them. It has grown great with you and your thought process and ideology. The left mob is trying to destroy our legacy so that they can replace it with a new oppression regime that they control alone."
At a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the weekend, Trump told supporters to urge his employees to slow down the tests. His aides suggested he was just kidding, but Trump later said, "I'm not kidding."
ABC News’s Will Steakin contributed to this report.
Despite warnings from leading health officials, Trump repeats that the coronavirus "goes away" and uses a racist description originally published on abcnews.go.com
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