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FACT CHECK: Trump's assertion of U.S. has done more COVID-19 tests than S. Korea
Updated: 2020-03-25 17:10:53 KST
South Korea and the United States reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus on the same day - January 20th.
But Seoul and Washington responded in very different ways.
South Korea immediately started developing COVID-19 test kits and followed up with an emergency approval to use them.
The country was testing thousands of people a day by late February.
But the U.S. did not ramp up its testing until early-March.
The number of confirmed cases has seen a rapid increase since then.
Regardless of the seemingly late start in testing for the coronavirus,President Trump, in a town hall event on Fox News on Tuesday, said the U.S. has done more tests in eight days than South Korea has done in eight weeks.
He added that American tests are better and that they're highly sophisticated.
According to the COVID Tracking Project - a volunteer-run data collaboration website,the U.S. has tested over 367-thousand people.
Seoul's governmental report shows South Korea has screened over 357-thousand people.
What Trump said appears to be true, but South Korea's population of 52 million is a lot smaller than the 329 million people living in the U.S.
With about 300-thousand tests in each country, 1 out of every 173 people has been screened in South Korea while 1 in 1,097 people has been tested in the United States.
That means South Korea has tested six times as many people per capita.
South Korea's quick response to test as many people as possible is being credited with flattening the country's virus curve.
With America's exponential virus curve,the battle against COVID-19 might be just beginning in the U.S.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.
Reporter : hwkan@arirang.com