Coronavirus update: US facing ‘apocalyptic’ scenario as cases boom

The US is by far the worst affected country in the world from coronavirus, with more than 2.4 million cases – twice as high as the second-worst affected nation, Brazil. The US has also seen the most deaths from COVID-19, with more than 124,000 people losing their lives, more than twice as many as the second-highest, again Brazil. While President Donald Trump has praised his handling of the pandemic and claimed the numbers are higher because of the US’s rigorous testing scheme, the rest of the world is under no illusion he has failed to properly deal with the crisis.

On Tuesday, June 23, both Florida and Texas recorded new record highs of 5,000 new coronavirus cases, and on the same day, California revealed a new daily high of 7,000 cases.

With the spread of the virus showing no signs of slowing, experts have warned the country is fast approaching an apocalyptic scenario.

Dr Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, told CNN: “The big metro areas seem to be rising very quickly and some of the models are on the verge of being apocalyptic.”

Dr Hotez has been analysing coronavirus infection models, and believes the numbers will continue to rise, and that Houston, in particular, could see daily cases quadruple by July 4.

He continued: “That is really worrisome and as those numbers rise, we’re seeing commensurate increases in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

“You get to the point where you overwhelm ICUs and that’s when the mortality goes up.”

Despite booming numbers, President Trump has persistently claimed the figures are due to high testing.

He tweeted on Thursday: “The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down. The Fake News doesn’t like telling you that!”

The controversial US leader is so proud of his coronavirus response he supposedly jokingly told officials to slow down testing to halt the increasing numbers.

President Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Tulsa: “When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please.”

A White House official has claimed President Trump was joking, claiming: “He was obviously kidding. We are leading the world in testing and have conducted 25 million + in testing.”

However, the White House confirmed this week it will cut funding to 13 federal coronavirus testing sites – a move criticised by Congress officials.

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