As the United States celebrated its 244th birthday in an unusually somber manner reflecting the mood of a country in the throes of deadly coronavirus disease outbreak, President Donald Trump once again blamed China for it and held out hopes of a vaccine by the end of the year.
The president, who held the July 4 celebrations against the advice of public health officials and experts warning that the virus is also spreading through these large gatherings, did not mention the fatalities in his speech. Currently the worst-hit country, death toll in US neared 130,000 Sunday, or the 2.8 million cases, with more than 45,000 new infections over the past 24 hours.
Without citing evidence, Trump said that 99 per cent of coronavirus cases in the United States were “totally harmless”, contrary to the mounting cases running into millions show. This month, many states have marked a record number of new Covid-19 cases. In Texas alone, 7,890 patients were hospitalized after 238 new admissions over the past 24 hours.
Health experts have blamed large gatherings such as the one that Trump addressed Friday in front of the Mt Rushmore monument in South Dakota on Friday the Independence Day celebrations — called “Salute to America” on Saturday partly for the surge in infections being reported from souther states currently. Memorial Day celebrations on May 31, for instance, has been blamed by officials of many of these 16 states for their spikes — called the Memorial Day “bump” by some of them.
Watch l In July 4th speech, Trump slams China for Covid-19; vows to defeat ‘radical left’
“China must be held fully accountable”, the president said, blaming China once again for misreporting the disease outbreak, and misleading the world about its dangers early enough.
Trump’s frequent blaming of China has been seen by critics as an attempt to shift blame from his own shoddy handling of the crisis.
As before he also pushed a misleading narrative that the the high number of cases in the United States was due to more testing. While more testing will lead to the detection of more cases, which is the way to tackle the virus, public health officials of his own task force have repeatedly said rising proportion of positive results point to a genuine spoke in infections.
“Now we have tested, almost 40 million people,” he said.
The president also plugged hopes of a breakthrough in the hunt of a vaccine, saying, “We’ll likely have a therapeutic and/or a vaccine solution long before the end of the year.”