The United States is officially the country with the most cases of COVID-19 in the world, according to updated figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Donald Trump struggles to reassure a nation full of fear on Thursday as it emerged the US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world.
The United States surpassed virus hotspots such as China and Italy with 82,404 cases of infection, according to a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University, broke as the president was holding a press conference at the White House. As of today, March 27, 2020 at 0830 hours, The U.S. has 86.012 cases and 1,301 deaths.
Trump’s instinctive response was to question other countries’ statistics. “It’s a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing,” Trump told reporters. “We’re doing tremendous testing, and I’m sure you’re not able to tell what China is testing or not testing. I think that’s a little hard.”
While the US has increased its testing capacity in recents days the process has been flawed and incoherent, and the country still lags behind leaders such as South Korea in terms of the number of tests administered per-capita.
These are hard moments for the United States since the death toll surpassed 1,000 and in the last week 3.3 million people filed for unemployment – the biggest single-week jump in history. Trump has been widely condemned for failing to act fast enough, and blaming others rather than taking personal responsibility.
“It’s nobody’s fault,” Trump said of the jobless figure. “Certainly not in this country. Nobody’s fault. We got very lucky when we made a decision not to allow people in from China on a very early date. I say that because some people don’t want to accept it, but this was a great decision made by our country, or the numbers that you’re talking about – we’re a big country – they’d be far greater, far bigger.” Then He added: “I heard it could be six million, could be seven million. It’s 3.3 or 3.2, but it’s a lot of jobs, but I think we’ll come back very strong. The sooner we get back to work – you know, every day we stay out it gets harder to bring it back very quickly, and our people don’t want to stay out … I think you’ll see a very fast turnaround once we have a victory over the hidden enemy.”
Trump told the briefing that dates for reopening sections of the country were under discussion but he notably did not refer to Easter – 12 April – as he has been pushing in recent days.
The world has accused him of lacking compassion, as New York hospitals become overwhelmed, with doctors complaining of nightmarish conditions, and cases spike in cities such as New Orleans, Trump continued to talk down the threat from the virus. “Many people have it. I just spoke to two people that had it. They never went to a doctor, they didn’t report it … The people that actually die, that percentage is much lower than I actually thought.”
He added, “The mortality rate, in my opinion, is way down,” even though experts have warned that this is likely to worsen in the coming weeks.
In a tone that again seemed at odds with the gravity of the situation, Trump asked a reporter from Bloomberg News, “How’s Michael doing, good?” – a reference to the failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg – and dismissed a state governor who took part in a conference call as a “wise guy”.
The Yucatan Times