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US closes in on 200,000 virus deaths, weeks before election

AFP
Washington
The United States edged close to registering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump stays in office.
According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 199,531 Americans have died and 6.8 million have been confirmed infected.
The US has had the world’s highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 136,895 and 87,882 deaths respectively.
Overall, the US accounts for four percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of its coronavirus deaths, while its daily fatality rate relative to the overall population is four times greater than that of the European Union.
Critics say the statistics expose the Trump administration’s failure to meet its sternest test ahead the November 3 election.
“A president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people. And he won’t. That is utterly disqualifying,” his Democratic rival Joe Biden said last week.
Trump insisted on ‘Fox and Friends’ on Monday that the United States was “rounding the corner with or without a vaccine.”
But the president has high hope that the swift approval of a vaccine will boost his reelection chances.