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Trump disagrees with top expert that US coronavirus situation is bad

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he disagrees with the assessment of the country's top immunologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, on the dire situation the US faces as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to spread.

"The current state is really not good," the highly respected Dr Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Facebook and Twitter livestream on Monday.

"We are still knee deep in the first wave" of Covid-19 infections," he said.

Mr Trump, speaking on Tuesday in a TV interview, disagreed with Dr Fauci, a key player on the White House's own Coronavirus Task Force.

"I think we are in a good place," the president said in an interview on the Full Court Press news show hosted by a former Fox News anchor. "I disagree with him. Dr Fauci said don't wear masks, now he says wear them," he continued, adding that the immunologist has "said numerous things" that according to Mr Trump were bad advice.

"So we've done a good job. I think we are going to be in two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we are going to be in very good shape," Mr Trump added.

The US coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, and Florida faced an impending shortage of intensive care unit hospital beds.

Authorities have reported alarming upswings of daily caseloads in roughly two dozen states over the past two weeks, a sign that efforts to control transmission of the coronavirus have failed in large swaths of the country.

California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily record highs for new cases. The biggest jumps occurred in Texas and California, the two largest US states, with more than 10,000 new cases each. - AFP, REUTERS

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