The White House science office has listed “ending Covid-19” as one of the top achievements of the Trump administration’s first term, even as the country continues to post record daily numbers of new infections.
The press release issued by the White House on Tuesday entitled “Science and Technology Accomplishments from First Term” said the president “has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease”.
The statement comes after the US reported its highest-ever single day increase in coronavirus cases on Friday, with 83,000 fresh infections, while its weekly rolling average of new cases per 24 hours stands at 70,000.
The country has seen more than 227,000 deaths in total and more than 8.85 million confirmed Covid-19 infections, the most in the world. Mr Trump has himself been infected, and the office of Vice-President Mike Pence is currently dealing with its own outbreak.
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Mr Trump has often been accused of downplaying the virus, and a lack of social distancing and mask use have been raised as concerns during campaign events. The president this week described media coverage of the US’s official figures as a “fake news media conspiracy”, and claimed that the country is “rounding the curve” of the crisis.
The high number of cases in the US has been attributed by Mr Trump to the US’s relatively high rate of testing, although cases are now rising again in many places heading into winter even as testing rates have remained stable.
As the numbers of new infections continue to grow, public health experts have warned the country the situation is going to get much worse as temperatures across the country dip. Former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said on CNBC on Monday that the US was at a "tipping point" of potentially exponential spread.
Much of Europe is already seeing a second wave of coronavirus, with the situation in Belgium’s Liege described by doctors there as possibly the worst in the world.
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