Trump says US topping world virus cases is ‘badge of honour’

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Media captionTrump says Covid cases are a "badge of honor"

President Donald Trump has argued that it is "a badge of honor" that the United States has the largest number of Covid-19 confirmed infections in the world.

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"I think this is a positive aspect, in a sense, because it means that our tests are much better," he said at the White House.

The United States has 1.5 million coronavirus cases and nearly 92,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Second is Russia, with almost 300,000 confirmed cases.

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What did Trump say?

On Monday, Trump was holding his first cabinet meeting since the outbreak began in the U.S.

"By the way," he told reporters, "you know when you say we lead cases, it's because we have more tests than anyone else."

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"So, when we have a lot of cases," he continued, "I don't consider it a bad thing, I consider it as, in a sense, a good thing because it means that our tests are much better."

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Media captionThe six weeks lost when the US failed to control the virus

He added: "So, I see it as an honor badge. It really is an honor badge.

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"It is a great tribute to the tests and all the work that many professionals have done".

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency, the US performed 12.6 million coronavirus tests on Tuesday.

Trump was answering a question about whether he was considering a ban on traveling to Latin America, in particular Brazil. That country now has the third highest number of confirmed cases, after the USA and Russia.

The Democratic National Committee criticized the Republican president's comments, tweeting that the 1.5 million Covid-19 cases in the US represented "a complete failure of leadership".

Is the president right?

Although the United States has conducted more volume testing than any other country, it is not the first in the world on a per capita basis, according to Our World in Data, a scientific publication at the University of Oxford.

Your chart ranks the USA as 16th globally in terms of tests per 1,000 people, ahead of South Korea, but behind countries like Iceland, New Zealand, Russia and Canada.

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Media captionWould you use this mask with an automatic orifice to eat?

Last week, the U.S. ran between 300,000 and 400,000 tests daily, according to the Covid Tracking Project, an effort led by volunteers.

But Harvard Global Health Institute director Ashish Jha said last week at a congressional hearing, "The US needs more than 900,000 tests every day to open safely again. We're doing about a third of that." .

The U.S. also reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, although, per capita, it ranks sixth behind countries like Belgium, the UK and France, according to Johns Hopkins University.

US coronavirus testing rates have been criticized on both sides of the corridor.

At a Senate hearing last week, Republican Mitt Romney criticized the country's test record, saying "there was nothing to celebrate" because, according to him, "we stepped into the water in February and March".

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