U.S. to surpass grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths
(Reuters) - The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States was approaching over 200,000 on Monday, by the far the highest number of any nation.
The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally. That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15.
During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the worst was over, as the death toll reached 199,630 with 6.8 million confirmed cases.
“We are rounding the corner on the pandemic, with or without a vaccine... and we’ve done a phenomenal job - not just a good job - a phenomenal job. Other than public relations, but that’s because I have fake news.”
Trump has previously admitted to playing down the danger of the coronavirus early on because he did not want to “create a panic.”
With barely six weeks left before the election on Nov. 3, Trump is behind Democratic rival Joe Biden nationally in every major opinion poll and is neck and neck in key swing states. Trump’s handling of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has battered his standing among many voters.
Trump has frequently questioned the advice of scientific experts on everything from the timing of a vaccine to reopening schools and businesses to wearing a mask. He has refused to support a national mask mandate and held large political rallies where few wore masks.
Graphic: Where U.S. coronavirus cases are rising and falling here
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently told Congress that a face mask would provide more guaranteed protection than a vaccine, which would only be broadly available by “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”
Trump refuted the timeline for the vaccine and said that it may be available in a matter of weeks and ahead of the Nov. 3 election.