Hopes for a swift recovery from the coronavirus pandemic dimmed after President Trump warned of a “very painful” fight against the virus with the White House projecting 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. deaths, even with mitigation efforts. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said the outbreak that has sickened hundreds of thousands of people around the world and devastated the global economy is the “most challenging crisis we have faced” since World War II,
Here are some significant developments:
- The United States continued to far outstrip other nations in confirmed infections, with the country’s overall caseload already at 185,000. The number of U.S. deaths neared 4,000.
- U.S. stock futures and European markets fell Wednesday, pointing to a bleak start to the second quarter on Wall Street as weak global data dashed any hopes of a quick recovery in the world economy.
- China reported a surge in coronavirus infections as it began including asymptomatic cases in its official statistics, as concern grows there about a wave of imported infections. President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that it was still too early to lift all coronavirus restrictions.
- Saudi Arabia strongly hinted that the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca featuring some 2 million people set for late July, would likely be suspended.
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