U.S. death toll tops 222,000 and President Trump criticizes media for constant coverage of crisis

New York (CBS Marketwatch): The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus illness COVID-19 rose above 222,000 on Thursday, and President Donald Trump again falsely claimed the virus was disappearing and criticized the media for its constant coverage of the crisis.

The U.S. leads the world by cases, at 8.3 million, and deaths at 222,239, or about a fifth of the global tallies for cases and fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

At a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump said, “All you hear is Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.”

The president repeated the word 11 times, the New York Times reported. “That’s all they put on, because they want to scare the hell out of everyone.”

Trump also falsely claimed that his presidential rival, Democrat Joe Biden, is seeking to “prolong the pandemic” and to “shut down your country,” when Biden has outlined a plan aimed at containing the virus without another lockdown.

Dr. Zeke Emanuel, oncologist, adviser to Biden and vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, told MarketWatch’s Jaimy Lee that Biden would change four major things in the U.S. handling of the pandemic if elected.

“You’re going to change the tone around this,” Emanuel said in an interview. “You’re going to have a president who actually models the public-health interventions, with a mask, social distancing, not getting into crowds. You’re going to have experts giving you the briefings, not politicos. We’d have experts giving guidance, like the CDC will begin developing real guidance that it’s capable of, not the sort of light-handed guidance that we’ve gotten. You’re going to have someone or a committee that coordinates this thing, that has a sub group on [personal protective equipment], a sub group on testing, a sub group on therapeutics, a sub group on vaccines.”

Biden is also willing to work closely with states to ensure a consistent approach to the crisis, he said.

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