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Trump Tries To Find Scapegoat For Pandemic, As Japan Announces State Of Emergency

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Trump Tries To Find Scapegoat For Pandemic, As Japan Announces State Of Emergency

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On April 7th, the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 1.4 million. Out of those, the US has almost a third, currently sitting at just above 400,000

On the day, the US registered 1,917 new fatalities, which also puts it at first place in terms of the tempo at which people are succumbing to COVID-19.

Trump Tries To Find Scapegoat For Pandemic, As Japan Announces State Of Emergency

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Currently, it has more cases than Spain, Italy and France combined, which are the three countries in the EU most afflicted by the virus.

Italy and Spain appear to have either reached the peak, or are very near it, since the daily numbers of their cases for several days now have steadily gone down, as a number, as well as a percentage of the total.

The percentage of daily deaths is also going down, which is a positive.

France was the country with the second most registered deaths around the world, with 1,417, and 11,000 new registered cases, meaning that it is still climbing towards the peak, and it is unclear when it might come there.

Russia, still has a relatively low number of confirmed cases, as well as a very low number of fatalities. It also has a very comparable number of COVID-19 tests per 1 million of population to that of the US, which suggests that Russia’s measures may have been undertaken on time, rather than late, as is the case with Washington’s policy.

Returning back to the US, President Donald Trump criticized how the World Health Organization was handling the crisis.

“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O.; we’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see,” he said. “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China-centric. We will be giving that a good look.”

“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things,” Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing. “And they had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to – they seemed to be very China centric.”

Then just moments later when asked if he was really going to stop funding for the WHO, he said that “No, maybe not,” he replied, backtracking from his earlier remark. “I’m not saying I’m going to do it but we’re going to look at.”

Trump retorted: “No, I didn’t, I said we’re going to look at it. We’re going to investigate it, we’re going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding, yeah, because you know what, they called it wrong, and if you look back over the years even, everything seems to be very biased toward China. That’s not right.”

This isn’t something entirely new, as the Trump administration has called on reduced contributions to the WHO since February. In the budget proposal, it was suggested that the American contribution to the WHO should be reduced from an estimated $122.6m to $57.9m.

A model tracking the coronavirus pandemic in the US, received a massive influx of new data and predicted that fewer people would die, and fewer hospital beds would be needed in the country, compared to estimations from the week ending on April 5th.

As of April 6th, the model predicted the virus will kill 81,766 people in the United States over the next four months, with just under 141,000 hospital beds being needed. That’s about 12,000 fewer deaths and 121,000 fewer hospital beds than the model estimated on April 2nd.

A “massive infusion of new data” led to the adjustments, according to the model’s maker, Dr. Christopher Murray, who serves as director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Finally, in Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency to fight new COVID-19 infections in major population centres, and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.

Abe announced the state of emergency targeting the capital Tokyo and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44 per cent of Japan’s population – for a period of about one month. The other affected regions are neighboring Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama, the western hub of Osaka and neighboring Hyogo, and the southwestern region of Fukuoka.

“We have decided to declare a state of emergency because we’ve judged that a fast spread of the coronavirus nationwide would have an enormous impact on lives and the economy,” he told parliament earlier.

“The most important thing now is for each citizen to change our actions,” Abe said in televised comments made at a meeting of a government task force.

“If each of us can reduce contact with other people by at least 70 per cent, and ideally by 80 per cent, we should be able to see a peak in the number of infections in two weeks,” he said.

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