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Coronavirus: US overtakes China with most cases

  • Coronavirus: US overtakes China with most cases
    Mr Trump has set a much-criticized goal of Easter Sunday, April 12, for reopening the country. Coronavirus: US overtakes China with most cases
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The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests.

According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has overtaken China (81,782 cases) and Italy (80,589).

But with almost 1,300 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,291) and Italy (8,215).

The grim milestone came as President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work "pretty quickly".

Vice-President Mike Pence said coronavirus tests were now available in all 50 states and more than 552,000 tests had been conducted nationwide.

Mr Trump also cast doubt on the figures coming out of Beijing, telling reporters: "You don't know what the numbers are in China."

But later, I tweeted that he had had a "very good conversation" with China's President Xi Jinping.

"China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!" President Trump said.

Does the president still hope to ease restrictions?
Mr Trump has set a much-criticized goal of Easter Sunday, April 12, for reopening the country. That plan seemed to gather impetus on Thursday as it emerged an unprecedented 3.3 million Americans have been laid off because of the virus.

The House kicked off debate Friday on a $ 2.2 trillion package to ease the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating toll on the U.S. economy and health care system, even as a maverick conservative threatened to delay passage until most lawmakers return to Washington for a vote.

Stocks fell Friday morning on Wall Street as investors waited for Congress to deliver a big financial rescue package aimed at cushioning ailing businesses and households from the coronavirus crisis.

The selling erased some of the market’s gains after a strong three-day rally that has the major stock indexes on track for their first weekly gain in three weeks. Even after the winning streak this week the market is down 25% from the peak it reached a month ago.

The S&P 500 fell 3.6% in early trading, but is up just above 10% for the week. The benchmark index shot up 17% over the previous three days as traders became hopeful that Congress would pass the $2.2 trillion economic aid package. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 4.1%. It’s up more than 12% for the week. European markets also fell. Asian markets closed mostly higher.