Daily US Times: Despite a nationwide spike in cases, US President Donald Trump has used a 4 July speech to claim the country’s ”progress” against Covid-19.
Amid huge criticism to his administration for the handling of the pandemic, he said China – where the virus originated in late last year – must be “held fully accountable”.
The president also berated protesters who toppled monuments of US historical figures in recent anti-racism protests, sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
“Their goal is demolition,” he said.
In a combative tone that echoed his Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the president pledged to defeat the “radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters”.
The President spoke from the White House lawn, flanked by his wife Melania, to a crowd that included frontline medical staff and US soldiers.
The US has seen a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases. Many blamed this for early reopening in many states.
Mr Trump praised his ”nation’s scientific brilliance,” adding that the US “will likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year”.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, warned in June that scientists may never be able to create an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, observing: “The estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year. If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That’s what scientists are saying.”
The US has recorded 43,000 new cases in 24 hours of Saturday. According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, Florida, where the outbreak is especially acute, saw 11,458 new cases.
The US has the world’s highest number of coronavirus deaths and infections. Nearly 130,000 people died in the US from Covid-19. But Mr Trump made no mention of that huge number of deaths in his speech. He said the US had tested almost 40 million people, adding that 99% of coronavirus cases were “totally harmless” – but he gave no evidence supporting to this claim.
A massive firework display was later held in Washington DC, watched by spectators who gathered on the National Mall.
What did Trump say?
While addressing the country’s battle against the coronavirus, the president said his administration had “made a lot of progress” and “our strategy is moving along well”, despite the nationwide surge in infections.
The President is facing re-election this November. Thinking that in mind, he appears keen to fire up his conservative base with appeals to nationalism, accused China of trying to conceal the virus outbreak – a charge China denies.
Mr Trump said: “China’s secrecy, deceptions and cover-up allowed [the virus] to spread all over the world.”
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