Global report: US Covid deaths near 200,000 as UK ‘heads in wrong direction’

Global report: US Covid deaths near 200,000 as UK ‘heads in wrong direction’

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The US is nearing the stark milestone of 200,000 deaths, nine months after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as cases in the UK rose to a four-month high and Europe continued to see rising infections.

The number of deaths in the US, the highest in the world, stood at 199,509 on the Johns Hopkins University tracker on Monday morning, roughly a fifth of the global total. Nearly 6.8m of the world’s 30.1m infections are in the US.

US president Donald Trump has been accused of intentionally downplaying the dangers posed by Covid-19. He drew widespread criticism for his handling of the pandemic, but also of his response to the loss of life, saying in an interview in early August, when around 1,000 Americans a day were dying: “It is what it is.” Sunday’s US death toll was 689.

The virus has killed people of colour and immigrants (regardless of race) in the US at higher rates than their white and US-born counterparts. Among the dead are more than 1,000 healthcare workers.

The UK’s most senior government scientists will make a direct appeal to the public on Monday, warning that the coronavirus trend is “heading in the wrong direction” and “a critical point has been reached”. The warning comes after the UK reported 3,899 new cases on Sunday after four-month high of 4,422 on Saturday.