Donald Trump sends well wishes to ‘great friend’ Boris Johnson as he battles coronavirus

Donald Trump has sent well wishes to Boris Johnson who has been taken to hospital after failing to fight off coronavirus 10 days after being diagnosed.

The US president referred to the PM as a “great friend of mine” and a “strong man” during Sunday night’s White House press briefing.

“I’m sure he is going to be fine,” said Trump. “He’s a strong man, a strong person.”

The president said he had not spoken to Johnson and was notified he had been taken in for testing by Washington’s ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson.

He said it was a “big move going to the hospital”.

“He’s a great gentleman, I just hope he’s OK,” Trump added.

Trump hoped the US pandemic was ‘leveling out’

He said it was a “big move going to the hospital”.

“He’s a great gentleman, I just hope he’s OK,” Trump added.

New York, America’s hardest-hit state, meanwhile, reported on Sunday that for the first time in a week deaths had fallen slightly from the day before, but there were still nearly 600 new fatalities and more than 7,300 new cases.

“Maybe that’s a good sign,” Trump told reporters, referring to the drop in fatalities, before expressing hope that the United States was seeing a “leveling-off” of the crisis in some of the nation’s hot spots.

He went on to say the Federal Government will deliver 600,000 N95 masks to New York City today, as well as N95 masks to NY’s Suffolk County.

Boris Johnson is in hospital with his coronavirus having failed to clear up in over a week

The president confirmed results had been received for 1.67million Americans.

He also said the US has stockpiled about 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and said it shows very strong signs of helping combat coronavirus infections.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier in the day that new hospitalizations had fallen by 50 per cent over the previous 24 hours.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Healthcare workers help a patient who was fainted as she walked out of the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York

He cautioned that it was not yet clear whether the crisis was reaching a plateau in the state, which has a total of 4,159 deaths and more than 122,000 cases.

Once the peak of the epidemic passes, Cuomo said a mass roll-out of rapid testing would be critical to help the nation “return to normalcy”.

It comes as the US entered one of the most critical weeks so far in the coronavirus crisis, with government officials warning that the death toll in places such as New York, as well as Michigan and Louisiana was a sign of trouble to come in other states.

Still, governors of eight states resisted issuing stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the respiratory disease, and some churches held large Palm Sunday services in defiance of such orders in their states.

Despite drops in the likes of New York, places such as Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington, D.C., are starting to see rising deaths.

“This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Fox News on Sunday.

Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States with Trump

“It’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.”

Most states have ordered residents to stay home except for essential trips to slow the spread of the virus in the United States, where more than 335,000 people have tested positive and over 9,500 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

But eight states, all of them with Republican governors have yet to order residents to stay home: Arkansas, Iowa Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Georgia, which has recorded 6,600 cases and more than 200 deaths, ordered residents to stay home but then allowed some beaches to reopen.

A man wearing a protective mask walks on the street in New York City

Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson defended his refusal to order statewide restrictions, saying the situation was being watched closely and that his more “targeted approach” was still slowing the spread of the virus.

Adams, the surgeon general, said governors who had not issued month-long stay-at-home orders should at least consider one for the upcoming week.

But despite the week ahead, Trump was remaining positive yesterday.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel. Things are happening,” he told reporters.

The field hospital setup for virus patients at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Pastor Tony Spell, who was arrested last week for holding services, summoned his faithful again for a large Palm Sunday service, three weeks after Louisiana banned gatherings of 10 people or more. 

Louisiana has become a hot spot for the virus, reporting a jump in deaths to nearly 500 and more than 13,000 cases.

The governor predicted the state would run out of ventilators by Thursday.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said the city had enough ventilators to get through Tuesday or Wednesday, and he was seeking between 1,000 and 1,500 more from federal and state stockpiles, which he estimated had 10,000 and 2,800, respectively.

Oregon, which has reported around 1,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, said it was sending New York 140 ventilators, machines that help people breathe after the virus attacks their lungs.

Washington is returning over 400 of the machines to the Strategic National Stockpile for hard-hit states like New York.

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Coronavirus outbreak

White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.

Still, members of Trump’s coronavirus task force saw signs of progress in their fight against the virus.

 “We’re very hopeful that over the next week, although we’ll see rising number of cases and people who lose their lives to this illness, we’re also hopeful to see a stabilization of cases across these large metro areas where the outbreak began several weeks ago,” task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters.


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