State-by-state figures published late on Thursday showed confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US had overtaken the 81,782 cases reported by China and 80,589 reported in Italy. The biggest outbreaks were confirmed in New York, New Jersey and California.
The US has recorded 1,300 coronavirus deaths, behind China with 3,291 and Italy with 8,215.
When asked about the recently confirmed cases of coronavirus at a White House briefing on Thursday afternoon, President Trump said it was “a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing”.
Trump said: “Number one, you don’t know what the numbers are in China. We are testing tremendous numbers of people.”
Vice-President Mike Pence also disclosed coronavirus tests were now available in all 50 states and more than 552,000 tests had been conducted nationwide.
The US President had set a much-criticised goal of Easter Sunday April 12, for reopening the country. This is coming after it was reported that over 3.3 million Americans lost their jobs because of coronavirus.
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Trump said: “They [the American people] have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly.
We may take sections of our country, we may take large sections of our country that aren’t so seriously affected and we may do it that way.
A lot of people misinterpret when I say go back – they’re going to be practising as much as you can social distancing, and washing your hands and not shaking hands and all of the things we talked about.”