The World Health Organization warned that the United States could become the new epicenter of the coronavirus after a “very large acceleration” in infections, Reuters reports.
The WHO said that 40% of all new cases on Monday were from the United States.
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters.
“They (the United States) have a very large outbreak and an outbreak that is increasing in intensity,” she added.
There are at least 43,499 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States.
At least 537 people infect with the virus have died.
There have been 334,981 cases globally and more than 14,000 deaths.
Trump wants to lift restrictions:
Despite the alarming rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, President Donald Trump suggested he may lift restrictions to contain the virus much sooner than anticipated because he thinks it would help the economy.
"Our country wasn't built to be shut down," Trump said on Monday. "America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself."
Anthony Fauci pushes back:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country, is warning administration officials and Republicans that lifting restrictions would be a big mistake.
Fauci told officials that “prematurely scaling back social-distancing measures would hamper efforts to mitigate the virus and would devastate hospitals,” The Washington Post reported.
“It would be a major mistake to suggest any change of course when it comes to containment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham told the outlet. “I just spoke with Dr. Fauci — he believes that, if anything, we should be more aggressive and do more . . . You can’t have a functioning economy if you have hospitals overflowing. People aren’t going to go to work like that.”