By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose above 22,000 on Monday, as President Donald Trump railed against the nation’s top infectious disease expert for suggesting more lives could have been saved if restrictions on movement had been imposed earlier.
Trump on Sunday reposted a tweet calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be fired, and slammed a New York Times report that detailed how he was warned about the likelihood of a global pandemic but repeatedly resisted the advice of health care and intelligence experts.
In an interview with CNN, Fauci conceded that “logically” fewer people would have been infected if stay-at-home and social-distancing measures had been imposed in February, instead of mid-March. Fauci went to great lengths to explain that the decision was based on many considerations, but Trump still retweeted a message from former Republican congressional candidate, DeAnna Lorraine.
“Fauci was telling people on February 29 that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the U.S. at large,” said the tweet, which had the hashtag: Time to #FireFauci.”
Trump also attacked Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace for covering the New York Times article and for commenting that at his daily briefings, he’s been “getting into fights with governors he did not think were sufficiently appreciative or reporters.”
It was not the first time that Trump has bashed Wallace, whom the president said will never live up to his father’s legacy and should go work for one of the “fake news” networks.
A sailor from the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt died of complications from COVID-19, according to Navy officials cited by the Times on Monday , the first death for the crew of the ship, whose commander, Capt. Brett E. Crozier, was fired earlier this month after writing a letter to his superiors requesting help for crew members who had contracted the deadly illness.
In Europe, there was positive news from Spain where the death toll fell to 517 on Monday from 619 on Sunday, the smallest daily increase since the health ministry started tracking it. There are now 169,496 cases in Spain and 17,489 deaths, according to the health ministry. Some non-essential workers were allowed back to work on Monday.
There are now 1.89 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 118,304 people have died, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. At least 444,492 people have recovered.
The U.S. leads the world in number of cases at 560,891 and 22,935 deaths. Italy has 159,516 cases and 20,465 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe. France has 133,685 cases and 14,986 fatalities. Germany has 128,002 cases and 3,038 deaths.
The U.K. surpassed China in case numbers at 89,564. At least 11,346 Britons have died of the illness. China’s official case tally is 83,213 and 3,345 deaths, although some have suggested those numbers are understated. Iran, another hot spot, has 73,303 cases and 4,585 deaths.
New York remains the U.S. epicenter and recorded 671 deaths on Sunday, the first time in six says the total has been under 700. There have been 10,056 deaths from the virus in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are signs the curve of infections is flattening in the Empire State with the pace of hospitalizations and ICU admissions slowing. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are at odds over whether to reopen schools before the end of the current academic year, with Cuomo saying it’s too early to decide.
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China reported another 108 COVID-19 cases and said 98 of them were cased by Chinese nationals returning home from overseas. Experts are watching closely to see if China suffers a second wave of infections. The World Health Organization said at the weekend that is looking into reports of people testing positive after recovering from the illness, after South Korean officials said 91 patients had tested positive again.