Trump says US 'did a great job on coronavirus' as cases rise and death toll hits 122,000

As almost half states see surges in infections, there are 2.36 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in US, and 122,000 recorded deaths

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 23 June 2020 16:58 BST
Trump says he asked for coronavirus testing to be slowed down because there were so many cases

President Donald Trump says that his administration "did a great job on CoronaVirus" as cases surge in states across the country and the death toll continues to climb.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday morning he listed the "very early ban on China, Ventilator production, and Testing, which is by the most, and best, in the World" as having saved millions of US lives, decrying the "Fake News" for refusing to acknowledge this in a positive way.

He then complained that the media gives Dr Anthony Fauci a high approval rating, but that does not extend to the rest of the government's response, or those involved in the coronavirus taskforce such as vice president Mike Pence.

The president continues to maintain that Covid-19 case numbers are climbing in the US because more testing is being done. At Saturday night's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he sparked outrage when he said that he told his people to "slow the testing down, please". A comment that the White House spent much of Sunday and Monday attempting to walk back.

On Tuesday there were 2.36 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, and the number of recorded deaths had risen to 122,000. Almost half of states are seeing the number of cases increase, some by alarming amounts.

Texas, California and Florida have seen large spikes since they began to reopen their economies, prompting governors and mayors to mandate the wearing of face masks — one of the proven ways of stopping the spread of the virus, yet one that the president refuses to do himself.

Mr Trump's latest tweet comes as he flies to Yuma, Arizona, to participate in a roundtable briefing on border security, before inspecting a new section of the border wall with Mexico. Later he will address a group of Young Americans at the Dream City Church in Phoenix, before heading back to Washington, DC.

Arizona has seen cases rise from approximately 700 per day at the beginning of June to 3,200 per day by 19 June.

Also on Tuesday morning, Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other health experts are testifying before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in a session called "Oversight of the Trump Administration's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic".

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