The number of coronavirus cases in the United States crossed 10 lakh on Tuesday – the first country to cross the figure. The country’s tally stood at 10,12,583 as of late Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University. It also has over 59,000 deaths.
The total number of cases around the world stood at 31,17,204 on Wednesday morning.
“We continue to pray for the victims as well as for those Americans who are grieving their lost ones and their loved ones,” Trump said at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House in Washington DC on Tuesday, PTI reported. “There’s never been anything like this. We suffer with one heart but we will prevail. We are coming back, and we’re coming back strong.”
Meanwhile, many Americans in India have decided to stay back and “ride out” the pandemic instead of returning to their homes, according to News18.
“Two weeks ago, we had a list of folks [who had enlisted for repatriation from India] and we were pretty sure if we called [the] folks they’d show up at the airport and say, ‘Yes, please’,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ian Brownlee said on Tuesday. “We’re now getting to the point on that list, we’re having to make multiple calls for individual seats because people are deciding ‘No,’ they’d just as soon ride it out where they are.”
Trump attacks China again
The US president claimed that experts believe the worst of the pandemic in the US has passed, and Americans are “looking forward” to the “safe and rapid” reopening of the economy.
Trump has in the recent past trained his guns on China, blaming it for the pandemic. On Monday, he had said the United States may seek damages from the country.
“We are not happy with China,” Trump had said at a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. “We are not happy with that whole situation because we believe it could have been stopped at the source.” The US president said America was carrying out some “very serious investigation” into the matter.
The US has launched an investigation into whether the coronavirus originated in a high-security lab in Wuhan. Several conspiracy theories are circling about the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 laboratory, which is equipped to handle dangerous viruses. Earlier this month, the laboratory’s director denied any link to the outbreak. Trump has also repeatedly questioned China’s transparency in handling the pandemic, accusing it of fudging data.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said America will make sure the entire world knows that the virus originated in China. China hit back on Tuesday, accusing American politicians of telling “barefaced lies” over the pandemic, The South China Morning Post reported.
“They [the US] have only one objective: to shirk their responsibility for their own poor epidemic prevention and control measures and divert public attention,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said. “I don’t know what the motive is behind calling for an investigation, seeking damages and compensation. This is political manipulation.”
Geng also called White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro a “liar”, rejecting his claim that China hoarded medical equipment and sent low quality, and even counterfeit, coronavirus antibody test kits to the US.
China, where Covid-19 originated, has 83,940 infections and over 4,600 deaths, but has managed to control the spread of the virus, with very few new infections every day over the past month.