New York CNN Business  — 

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

These days, when the word URGENT pops up in my inbox, I cringe a little bit, because it is almost always bad news. For example, this alert arrived from CNN’s national desk at 9:57pm Thursday: “URGENT: U.S. sees highest single day of new COVID-19 cases, with 60,646 cases reported Thursday.”

The same disclaimer we included in March still applies now: These are just the cases we know about. Some people who think they have the coronavirus are still unable to get tested. Long lines at testing sites have been reported from Tennessee to California, from Kentucky to Colorado. Local news outlets have been calling out the testing shortages.

It’s a serious problem. But President Trump isn’t addressing that problem. He thinks there is too much testing already. He failed at basic math on Thursday, tweeting the fraction 1/100th when he meant “for the 100th time.” He lied to the public, once again, about testing being the root cause of more cases. And he told Sean Hannity that the testing regimen is “the greatest thing that ever happened for the opposite party.”

Try to imagine how his comments sound to someone who’s waking up early and getting in line for a Covid-19 test, trying to suppress their cough, hoping that they’re not sick with the same virus that has killed at least 133,000 Americans. Once they’re tested, they will have to wait a day or three or five or seven for the results. Do you think they care about electoral politics?

Headlines from hotspots

– Miami, FL, via the Herald, where the main headline cites “exponential virus growth…”

– El Centro, CA, via CNN correspondent Kyung Lah’s report from a tent that one doctor likens to a “war zone…”

– Columbia, SC, via NBC correspondent Ellison Barber’s visit to an ICU, where the number of Covid patients has tripled in two weeks…

– Corpus Christi, TX, via KRIS TV, where the county medical examiner is asking for a FEMA morgue trailer…

– Phoenix, AZ, via Chris Cuomo’s interview with ICU nurse Lauren Leander, who said “we’re at the point of compromising patient safety” because there are so many sick people in need of help…

More highlights/lowlights from Trump’s phone call with Hannity

– He criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci as “a nice man” who’s “made a lot of mistakes…”

– “I have no problem with masks, it’s really up to you,” he said, as if his opinion is irrelevant, when in fact his choices influence millions of people…

– He said “in most – most cases – in almost – I mean, literally, in most cases, they automatically cure. They automatically get better.” In the other cases, people die, but Trump doesn’t like to talk about that…

Meantime, Fauci keeps telling the ugly truth

Fauci spoke on several webcasts and podcasts Thursday – and slammed the American political system’s response to the pandemic. “I think you’d have to make the assumption that if there wasn’t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach,” he said on a 538 podcast.

Also on Thursday, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield appeared on ABC’s “GMA” and CNN’s coronavirus town hall. On the latter program, Anderson Cooper bluntly said to him, “unfortunately, the man you’re working for is lying about testing.” Redfield reverted to basic talking points about the importance of masks.

Now imagine if the roles were reversed and the guy calling into Hannity was setting the right tone and serving as a role model of the rest of the country, while the guy undermining the effort was shouting into a podcast…