Trump insists Covid-19 is ‘under control’ in US
On 1,000 daily fatalities, US President says ‘it is what it is’
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.
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.