During a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Donald Trump said the nation would be conducting fewer coronavirus tests in response to the rising cases in the country.

"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.

But top public health officials are pushing back, including director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, who said on a witness panel before congress on Tuesday that "none of us have ever been told to slow down on testing ... In fact, we will be doing more testing."

Congressman Joe Kennedy told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday the pushback is necessary to instill public trust in the nation's response to the virus.

"The lack of response for this virus continues to astound us all, but it's awfully hard to continue to be astounded when we know this is not actually his priority," said Kennedy. "What we actually saw yesterday is the public health officials actually be willing to stand up and contradict him and say that it's not true, which I think is so critically important because we need to provide the American public clear communication with what is happening with this virus, particularly becasue more than 20 states are seeing an incrase in infections."