Trump in­sists Covid-19 is ‘un­der con­trol’ in US

On 1,000 daily fa­tal­i­ties, US Pres­i­dent says ‘it is what it is’

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Htworld - let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

WASH­ING­TON/ BRASILIA: US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said the coro­n­avirus out­break is as un­der con­trol as it can get in the United States, where at least 155,000 peo­ple have died amid a patchy re­sponse to the public health cri­sis that has failed to stem a rise in cases.

The US pres­i­dent con­tin­ued to press for schools to re­open in an overnight Twit­ter post, and de­fended his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­sponse to the virus in a com­bat­ive in­ter­view with the Ax­ios news web­site re­leased late on Mon­day.

“They are dy­ing, that’s true,” he said. “It is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t do­ing ev­ery­thing we can. It’s un­der con­trol as much as you can con­trol it. This is a hor­ri­ble plague.”

In re­cent days, the US has been re­port­ing about 1,000 daily Covid-19 deaths on av­er­age, while daily cases have hov­ered close to the 60,000-mark. The coun­try has re­ported a to­tal of 4.7 mil­lion coro­n­avirus cases so far.

Coro­n­avirus cases con­tin­ued to surge in the coun­try and dozens of US states have had to pause or roll back their re­open­ing plans. The White House coro­n­avirus task force co­or­di­na­tor, Deb­o­rah Birx, said on Sun­day the virus was “ex­traor­di­nar­ily wide­spread” in ru­ral ar­eas as well as cities.

In the in­ter­view with Ax­ios, Trump in­sisted that in­creased di­ag­nos­tic test­ing in the US ac­counted for the in­crease in cases, an as­ser­tion dis­puted by health ex­perts who say ex­panded test­ing ac­counts for some, but not all, of the growth in cases.

Mean­while, Latin Amer­ica recorded more than 5 mil­lion con­firmed cases of Covid-19, be­com­ing the hard­est-hit re­gion in the world. Latin Amer­ica’s grim num­bers came even as the to­tal count of coro­n­avirus deaths glob­ally inched to­wards the 700,000mark. The virus has so far in­fected more than 18mn peo­ple.

The 10,000 new cases re­ported by Colom­bia’s health min­istry on Mon­day pushed the Latin Amer­ica past 5-mil­lion-mark. The re­gion now topped 200,000 deaths. Brazil’s fa­tal­i­ties ap­proached 96,000 on Mon­day and Mex­ico sur­passed 48,000. The two coun­tries have the world’s sec­ond and third high­est death tolls.

REUTERS

A pro­tester in a Grim Reaper cos­tume holds up a sign show­ing ‘152K’ to rep­re­sent the num­ber of Covid-19 deaths in the US, out­side the Trump Na­tional Golf Club in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

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