US COVID-19 death-toll hits 3,000, country now has the highest infection rate

President Donald Trump has been criticized for the federal government’s slow response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic stood at 3,008 on Monday, according to a running tally compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.

More than 163,000 cases of infection have been confirmed in the US, which surpasses the number of infections in Italy, Spain and China.

President Donald Trump has been criticized for an initially slow response by the federal government to the now-accelerating pandemic spread.

Harrowing scenes from hospitals in New York and elsewhere revealed a health system unprepared with basic supplies such as face masks, as well as life-saving devices like respirators.

On Sunday, Trump cancelled his plans to re-open much of the country by Easter—April 12—and extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April after his top scientists confronted him with data on the rising coronavirus crisis.

Trump said America’s death rate was likely to increase for two weeks, describing as “horrible” a prediction by senior scientist Anthony Fauci that COVID-19 could claim up to 200,000 lives.