President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump's fury: 'They really blew it'

US President Donald Trump has delivered a blistering attack on the World Health Organisation, accusing the UN body of being too cosy with China and giving  faulty information.

It comes as deaths in New York reached their highest level with the total number of people felled by COVID-19 now eclipsing the  9/11 terror attacks.

In a tweet on Tuesday (US time) Trump said the United Nations arm was "funded by the United States, yet very China centric".

He said he has "rejected their advice" on keeping US borders open to China and asked " Why did they give us such a faulty recommedation?"

Trump's travel ban did indeed run contrary to WHO guidance at the time. However, the US has still become the current epicentre of the pandemic.

Trump's broadside at the WHO comes as the death toll in New York rose past 3200 on Tuesday, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 where 2753 people perished in the city and 2977 overall including attacks elsewhere.

New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths, its biggest one-day jump yet, for a state wide toll of nearly 5500.

However, hospital admissions and the number of those receiving breathing tubes are dropping, indicating that measures taken to force people to keep their distance from one another are succeeding.

Across the country, the death toll has topped 12,000, with around 380,000 confirmed infections. Detroit and New Orleans have also emerged as COVID-19 hotspots.

Away from New York, it was a day of high drama in Washington. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modley resigned after he gave a blistering speech on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt calling the ship's former commander "stupid", it has been reported.

Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his position on the vessel after he wrote to his superiors urging them to deal with an outbreak of coronavirus on board the aircraft carrier. That memo was later leaked to the media. 

The former captain was cheered by his crew as he left the boat. Mr Modley got a less rapturous reception when he later said Captain Crozier was "too naive or too stupid" to be in command.

He then backtracked on those comments completely after it was said he was ordered to apologise by Defence Secretary Mark Esper. President Trump reportedly said he might "get involved".

- with AP.


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