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US coronavirus cases surpass 400,000, doubling in one week

Sgt. Brodie VanBrunt takes a patient’s temperature upon receiving them in the medical bay at the Javits New York Medical Station that is housing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., April 4, 2020.

Barry Riley | US Navy | Reuters

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 400,000 on Wednesday, according to figures provided by NBC, with 12,864 fatalities nationwide.

The world’s largest economy has recorded by far the most COVID-19 infections of any country, with the total now almost five times that of China — where the virus was first identified in December.

The U.S. confirmed an additional 169 cases in Missouri on Wednesday, data provided by NBC showed, taking the nationwide number of infections to 400,081. 

On April 1, the number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. surpassed 200,000 for the first time, meaning the country has doubled its case count in just one week.

NBC’s count is slightly higher than that of Johns Hopkins University, which counted 399,929 cases as of Wednesday morning.

To date, more than 1.4 million people have contracted the disease worldwide, according to Hopkins, with 82,220 deaths. 

Spain, Italy, France and Germany have all recorded more than 100,000 cases of the coronavirus, with China reporting the fifth-highest tally, on 82,783 infections. 

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted governments worldwide to impose draconian measures on the daily lives of billions of people.

The restrictions range from lockdowns and school closures to strict regulations on social distancing and public gatherings.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump lashed out at the World Health Organization, claiming it got “every aspect” of the coronavirus pandemic wrong. He also threatened to withhold funding from the United Nations health agency.

“They did give us some pretty bad play calling … with regard to us, they’re taking a lot of heat because they didn’t want the borders closed, they called it wrong. They really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong,” Trump said at a White House press conference.

The WHO sounded the alarm on the outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China in mid-January, recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health emergency on Jan. 30 when there were just 8,200 cases in 18 countries across the world.

The WHO’s declaration on Jan. 30 was nearly a month before Trump tweeted that “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA” and six weeks before he declared a national emergency.

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