Coronavirus: White House insists world sees US as ‘leader’ in pandemic as infections surge

Louise Hall
·3-min read
AP
AP

The White House has insisted that the US is being looked at as a “leader” in the fight against coronavirus, even as cases continue to spiral across the country.

The latest comments came at a White House press briefing on Monday, when press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was questioned about the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the world is looking at us as a leader in Covid-19,” Ms McEnany replied.

The US remains the country with the highest number of coronavirus infections with over 2.9 million recorded cases, almost double the number of Brazil, the country immediately behind it.

More than 130,000 people have died of the respiratory disease, with the number of cases in many states still rising incrementally as health officials warn residents to stay at home for Independence Day weekend.

Ms McEnany insisted that the country’s success in handling the pandemic is reflected in its low death rate in comparison to European countries.

The press secretary asserted this was because of the “extraordinary work” the country has done on therapeutics, PPE, and ventilators.

An analysis by The New York Times has shown that despite significant increases in cases, the number of daily deaths in the US has shown a significant decrease from 3000 a day to around 600, with the death rate has also lowered by roughly 3 per cent.

Experts have suggested a number of reasons for the decrease in deaths including increased testing, better treatment, and a shift in patient population to younger age groups less severely affected by the virus.

Although the White House insists that the pandemic is under control, the number of cases in the country continue to rise, and President Donald Trump’s approval rating is seemingly plummeting amid the health crisis.

The president’s approval dropped the fastest in 500 counties suffering 28 deaths per 100,000 people, as a result of Covid-19, according to the latest data from Pew Research Centre.

Mr Trump has maintained that his administration is successfully controlling the virus and reasserted his belief that the disease will eventually “just disappear”.

“I think we’re gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to, sort of, just disappear — I hope,” Mr Trump told Fox Business last week.

On the other hand, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has warned that the outbreak in the US is spiralling and the country desperately needs to take action to manage it.

“What we’ve seen over the last several days is a spike in cases that are well beyond the worst spikes that we’ve seen. That is not good news. We’ve got to get that under control, or we risk an even greater outbreak in the United States,” Dr Fauci told the BBC on Wednesday.

The country recorded more than 50,000 cases for the second day in a row on Independence Day as the nation saw a dozen states double their case counts over the last two weeks, forcing a number of governors in the South and the West to scale back their re-openings.

Worldwide, infections of Covid-19 have surpassed 11 million and the death toll has risen above 500,000.

Globally, as infections continue to surge in some of the world’s largest countries such as Brazil and India, the director-general of the WHO has warned that the “worst is yet to come”.

“The worst is yet to come. I’m sorry to say that, but with this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said of the pandemic last Monday.

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