On a somber day for Americans, the number of U.S. cases and deaths resulting from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continued to climb to lead the world, prompting Dr. Anthony Fauci to express frustration in the “lack of success” the U.S. has had in containing the outbreak as the pandemic reached the six-month mark.

The U.S. case toll rose above 6.4 million on Friday and at least 191,600 people have died, according to data provided by the New York Times. That comes after 37,786 new cases were reported on Thursday, above the daily average of 35,616 over the past week, and as the death toll increased by at least 915.

Fauci, who is head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases and the White House adviser on the coronavirus, said at a Harvard Medical School webinar Thursday that every day he looks at the COVID-19 data, he gets “more depressed and more depressed” that daily cases have never declined to the baseline he would like.

He said that while daily new cases have come down a bit — the daily average is down 16% from the average two weeks earlier — he said it was still an “extraordinarily unacceptable baseline” when considering the economy is reopening. When he presented data showing the reason for the high baseline, when compared with other countries, was likely because the U.S. didn’t shut down to the extent of other countries, he “got a little push back from people in the government.”

If there is a lesson to learn, as the Friday marks six months since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, Fauci said “don’t ever ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try and look at the rosy side of things.”

His comments come as President Donald Trump faced a backlash over his interview with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward in which the president said he knew of the dangers of the coronavirus but played down them to not create a panic.

And at a rally in Michigan on Thursday, Trump defended his optimistic tone by reportedly comparing it to that of U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II, who had advised people to keep calm and carry on.

Latest tallies

There are now 28.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, the Johns Hopkins data show. At least 910,460 people have died and at least 19.0 million people have recovered.

The U.S. case and death tolls are by far the highest in the world. In cases, India is second at 4.56 million and Brazil is third at 4.24 million, followed by Russia at 1.05 million and Peru at 710,067.

Brazil has the second highest death toll after the U.S. at 129,522, India is third at 76,271 and Mexico is fourth with 69,649 deaths. The U.K. is fifth in the world but first in Europe with 41,697 deaths.

For recoveries, the U.S. is third at 2.40 million, behind India at 3.54 million and Brazil at 3.66 million.

China has 90,139 confirmed cases and 4,733 deaths, according to its official numbers, while 85,021 have recovered.



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