WHO warns United States could become next epicenter of global coronavirus crisis
President Trump continued to play down the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic as experts warned of a worsening crisis: A World Health Organization official said Tuesday that “we are now seeing a very large acceleration” in U.S. coronavirus infections, adding that America has the potential to become the new epicenter of the global crisis.
Here are some significant developments:
The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021. The Summer Games were originally set to begin in July, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the International Olympic Committee agreed to reschedule.
Washington’s stalemate over a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus packaged carried into Tuesday, with some signs of progress — even as Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and congressional Democrats of trying to use the stimulus to pursue other legislative priorities. Meanwhile, after days of falling markets, Asian and European stocks and U.S. futures climbed.
More than 43,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States, although experts agree the true number is much higher. On Monday, U.S. deaths surpassed 100 in a single day for the first time. Trump’s apparent support for scaling back steps to contain the outbreak — even though experts insist that extreme social-distancing measures are necessary — contrasted with growing momentum among U.S. governors to issue “stay-at-home” orders.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced drastic new steps, bringing the country closer to the kind of lockdowns imposed in coronavirus-ravaged Spain and Italy. The death toll in Italy surged to 6,077 — the highest in the world.
China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak first emerged, announced it would lift travel restrictions on the region except for the capital, Wuhan. In Beijing, new testing and quarantine requirements were issued for all overseas arrivals to stem the rising tide of imported cases.
A team of British ear, nose and throat doctors said that losing your sense of smell may be a hidden symptom of the coronavirus. The doctors warned that adults experiencing recent loss of their sense of smell could be unknown carriers of the virus and urged them to consider self-isolation.