Health International News

Coronavirus: US overtakes China with most cases

The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country with more than 83,500 positive tests.

According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has overtaken China (81,782 cases) and Italy (80,589).

But with 1,200 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,291) and Italy (8,215).

The grim milestone came as President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work “pretty quickly”.

Asked about the latest figures at a White House briefing on Thursday afternoon, President Trump said it was “a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing”.

Vice-President Mike Pence said coronavirus tests were now available in all 50 states and more than 552,000 tests had been conducted nationwide.

Mr Trump also cast doubt on the figures coming out of Beijing, telling reporters: “You don’t know what the numbers are in China.”

He said he would speak to President Xi Jinping by phone on Thursday night, but denied the Chinese leader had asked him to “calm down” the language he uses to refer to the pandemic, which the US leader refers to as “the Chinese virus”.

Mr Trump has set a much-criticised goal of Easter Sunday, 12 April, for reopening the country. That plan seemed to gather impetus on Thursday as it emerged an unprecedented 3.3 million Americans have been laid off because of the virus.

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