US virus deaths pass 5,000

US death

The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 5,000 late Wednesday, according to a running tally from Johns Hopkins University.

At about 0235 GMT Thursday, 5,116 people had died, the tally showed, on the same day the United States set a one-day record of 884 people killed in 24 hours.

The US death toll is lower than those of Italy and Spain but above the 3,316 recorded for China, where the pandemic first emerged in December.

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According to Johns Hopkins, the US leads the world in number of cases of new coronavirus, with 215,417.

President Donald Trump, who earlier had downplayed the pandemic’s impact on the US, said Wednesday that “we’re going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now, that are going to be horrific.”

Last Sunday, senior US scientist Anthony Fauci issued a cautious prediction that the novel coronavirus could claim 100,000 to 200,000 lives in the country.

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