Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
The United States reported 45,966 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,116 new deaths on Friday alone, according to Johns Hopkins University virus tracker, even as President Donald Trump continued to claim fictional victory in Washington D.C.
Since the first case of COVID-19 in US was reported 218 days ago on January 21, 2020, close to 182,000 Americans have died, the data show. That number was increasing rapidly, and would be higher in the coming hours.
In the past four days alone, more than a thousand Americans have died daily, even as Trump was declaring victory and patting himself on the back on Thursday night during his party renomination at the White House.
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Cumulatively, about 4500 Americans have died from coronavirus since Tuesday this week alone, according to the data.
Health experts have warned that more Americans could die in the fall when coronavirus and common flu hit the country at the same time.
The United States has the worst death rate and highest number of infections in the world, the result of a bungled response by Donald Trump, who for months, described the virus as a hoax, undermined health experts, rejected wearing of masks, held big gatherings with no social distancing and no masks, like the one he held at the White House on Thursday.
Mr. Trump’s opponent in the November presidential election, Joe Biden, has taken a different approach. He’s wearing a mask, social distancing, recommending wearing of face masks to others, social distancing measures and listening to science.
Joe Biden and Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris have both said they would listen to science if elected to defeat the greatest health crisis America has faced in more than 100 years.
The World Health Organization said last week that during the 1918 flu pandemic, more people in the United States died during the second and the third wave.
Mr. Trump has failed to come to an agreement with Democrats over a new coronavirus relief bill that could prepare the country to get ready before fall as well as mitigate pains for the unemployed. The result may be catastrophic in just a few months.
Even if Mr. Trump loses in November as the polls suggest, Joe Biden would inherit a country deeply in crisis, with a health crisis still raging, an economy in great recession and high unemployment numbers.
Biden would need to move fast on those issues even as he deals with police reforms and a racial crisis in itself another pandemic that has lasted centuries.