Trump accuses Democrats of coronavirus ‘hoax’ as confirmed cases in US gather pace

President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of a new hoax on critics of his handling of the coronavirus threat, while US health officials reported on Friday a fourth case of new coronavirus of unknown origin, indicating that the disease was spreading across the country.

The latest case is a boy under the age of 18 in Washington State who has been tested “suspected positive” and is currently in family isolation in Snohomish County. The high school he attends will be closed until March 3 while it is thoroughly cleaned, said the Washington State Department of Health.

A positive test is considered “presumptive” until the results have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier on Friday, California health officials said an older woman had been confirmed to be of unknown origin – the second such case in the northern part of the state.

“This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission, but its extent is still unclear,” said Sara Cody, director of public health for Santa Clara County.

“What we now know is that the virus is there, present at a certain level, but we still do not know to what extent,” she added.

The latest infections have heightened fears of an epidemic across the country.

Trump calls coronavirus a “democratic hoax”

President Donald Trump and his administration have been criticized for a slow response to the coronavirus. Lawmakers say its proposed injection of $ 2.5 billion to strengthen defenses against the virus is not enough.

Trump, however, has responded to criticism of his response to the coronavirus by blaming others. He said the Democrats were politicizing the virus, even calling it the “new hoax” of the Democrats.

“They are doing everything they can to instill fear in people, and I think it is ridiculous, and I think they are very dishonorable,” he told reporters.

“We are preparing for the worst,” he said. “My administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to prevent the spread of this disease in the United States.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 60 people are infected with the disease in the United States, the majority of them in California.

State Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus and that five had left California.

High risk of global spread of the virus

Worldwide, more than 85,000 people have been infected and more than 2,900 have died.

The UN has said that the window of opportunity to contain the virus is narrowing, while the World Health Organization has announced that there is a high risk of the virus spreading worldwide.

The growing number of cases brought the stock markets down, Wall Street plunging into its worst week since the financial crisis. Tourism has plunged into economies around the world. Economists predict global growth will drop to 2.4%, the slowest since the 2009 recession.

AFP