Ben Carson Says Asymptomatic People Shouldn't Be Tested in Viral Video

Video of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson saying that asymptomatic people should not be tested for COVID-19 has now been viewed more than 135,000 times on Twitter.

Carson, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Donald Trump, spoke to Fox News' Lawrence Jones on Tuesday about testing and vaccination.

His comments come as President Joe Biden's administration announced it would provide free at-home testing to Americans who want it through the purchase and distribution of half a billion tests.

Jones, who was filling in for Sean Hannity, began by asking Carson about vaccinations for children and the retired surgeon said that a one-size-fits-all approach to vaccines was not appropriate.

Carson, who was a member of the Trump administration's Coronavirus Task Force, also criticized making children wear masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that all children aged two years and above should wear masks indoors in schools, but this advice differs from the CDC's international counterparts and questions have been raised about how the agency arrived at the decision.

Carson went on to say that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 "is not very virulent."

"I mean, you may get a sniffle and maybe a slight cough," Carson said. "You're not gonna be very sick. And it's going to spread very, very rapidly. Pretty soon everybody's gonna have it."

Omicron is now the dominant variant among new COVID cases in the U.S. and while early signs have indicated that it may be less virulent than other variants, this has not yet been established by experts and serious questions remain.

"I predict that with all the testing that we're gonna be doing, we're gonna have massive numbers of people who test positive," Carson said. "And this administration will have no idea what to do with them."

Jones asked Carson if the U.S. should stop testing "so much" and made particular reference to asymptomatic people.

"I personally think we should seriously give thought to not testing people who are asymptomatic," Carson replied. "Like I said, we're gonna end up with a real problem. We're gonna have massive numbers of people who test positive. What are we gonna do? We're gonna shut everything down? It just doesn't make any sense and particularly when you're dealing with something that doesn't make people very sick."

A video of those remarks shared to Twitter had been viewed more than 135,000 times as of Wednesday morning.

Carson also stressed the need to take particular care of the elderly and to deploy therapeutics.

The Biden administration intends to ramp up COVID testing as part of its winter plan to tackle the spread of the virus. This will include setting up new testing centers as well as provide free at-home tests.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Biden had tested negative for COVID on Monday and was asymptomatic following close contact with a staff member who tested positive. The president will be tested again on Wednesday.

Ben Carson Speaks During a Briefing
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaks during a briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Carson told Fox News on Tuesday that he believed asymptomatic people should not be tested for COVID-19. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images