Despite rising cases, Trump still believes COVID-19 will just 'disappear'
Trump has defended his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that there were only embers of the virus popping up around the US. "I will be right eventually. It's going to disappear, and I'll be right,” he said.
US President Donald Trump continues to believe that the coronavirus will just “disappear” one day! In a TV interview, he also called top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, an "alarmist", and again insisted that Americans are getting all the COVID-19 tests they need.
In the "Fox News Sunday" interview, the Republican leader claimed that the coronavirus was coming under control even as Florida reported over 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 -- the fifth day in a row the state has announced over 10,000 new infections.
The virus has claimed over 140,000 US lives total since the pandemic started, and Florida, California, Texas and other southern and western states shatter records every day. Despite record levels of new cases nationwide, the Trump administration is pushing for school to reopen in a few weeks and resisting a federal mandate to wear masks in public.
Trump defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the interview, including his statement that there were only embers of the virus popping up around the country. The United States, with 3.7 million total cases, has almost as many infections as the next three hardest-hit countries combined -- Brazil, India and Russia.
"We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it's - it's going to be under control."
'VIRUS WILL EVENTUALLY DISAPPEAR'
In the interview, Trump repeated his assertion that the virus will eventually disappear. "I'll be right eventually," he said. "It's going to disappear and I'll be right." But according to top government expert Fauci, the virus is "not going to disappear”. Nor can it be considered “under control” and its flame “put out” while cases have surged to new daily highs.
Fauci has warned that the increase across the South and West “puts the entire country at risk: and that new infections could reach 100,000 a day if people don't start listening to guidance from public health authorities to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned cases and deaths could rise this autumn and winter. Nearly all 20 forecasting models used by the CDC project rising deaths in the coming weeks. Throughout the United States, every metric to measure the outbreak is going in the wrong direction - rising cases, deaths, hospitalizations and positivity rates of test results.
At least 14 states have reported record coronavirus hospitalizations so far in July, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas.
Trump said he did not agree with CDC Director Robert Redfield that this fall and winter will be one of the most difficult times in American public health, as hospitals deal with the seasonal flu on top of COVID cases. "I don't know and I don't think he knows," Trump said.
FAUCI AN 'ALARMIST'
Trump also called Fauci "a little bit of an alarmist." The latter has been continuously expressing concern about the resurgance in COVID-19 cases in the US. The country is averaging 60,000 new cases a day and reported a record one-day increase of 77,299 on Thursday.
TESTING SHORTAGES IN U.S.
Testing shortages and delayed results in some states are hampering efforts to curb the outbreak, similar to situations that frustrated state officials and health experts at the start of the pandemic in March and April, Reuters reported.
Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday that people were waiting up to a week to learn if they tested positive. “The average test delay is too long,” said Collins. “That really undercuts the value of the testing.”
Instead of expanding testing, the Trump administration wants to block $25 billion for states to conduct testing and contact tracing, according to reports in The Washington Post and the New York Times.
The number of COVID tests performed each day has doubled since late May but remains lower than recommended by some health experts. The United States set a record on Friday with over 850,000 tests performed, according to data from the COVID-Tracking Project.