WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Friday the US economy had largely made it through the coronavirus pandemic, as a top expert in France said the worst was over there and the EU looked to open its borders again.
The United States is by far the worst hit by the deadly disease, which has killed over 390,000 people and infected some 6.6 million globally since it first erupted in China last year.
As the US leader trumpeted his country’s economic recovery, there was fresh news on the scientific front as a new trial out of the UK suggested that the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine — which Trump has taken — offered no benefit in treating COVID-19.
Scientists are scrambling for an effective treatment and vaccine for the disease as countries ease out of lockdowns to revive their ravaged economies, while avoiding a second wave of contagion.
Trump, who is eyeing re-election in November, has repeatedly urged US states to ease shut-in measures — often against the counsel of medical experts — as he seeks to kickstart the economy, with tens of millions of jobs already wiped out.
On Friday he offered some optimism on the economic front after fresh employment data showed the country gained 2.5 million jobs in May as lockdowns eased.
“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world. And that strength let us get through this horrible pandemic, largely through, I think we’re doing really well,” Trump told reporters, reiterating calls to further lift restrictions.
“We want the continued blanket lockdown to end for these states.”
More than 108,000 people have died in the US, where infections are above 1.8 million, and there are fears ongoing protests in the country over racism and police brutality could fuel the spread of the virus.
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