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WHO warns United States could become next epicenter of global coronavirus crisis, citing ‘very large acceleration’ in infections

President Trump continued to play down the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic as experts warned of a worsening crisis: A World Health Organization official said Tuesday that “we are now seeing a very large acceleration” in U.S. coronavirus infections, adding that America has the potential to become the new epicenter of the global crisis.

More than 46,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States, although experts say the true number is much higher. On Monday, U.S. deaths surpassed 100 in a single day for the first time.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021. The Summer Games were originally set to begin in July, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the International Olympic Committee agreed to reschedule.
  • Washington’s stalemate over a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus packaged carried into Tuesday, with some signs of progress — even as Trump accused congressional Democrats of trying to use the stimulus to pursue other legislative priorities. “Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today,” the president tweeted.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced drastic new steps, bringing the country closer to the kind of lockdowns imposed in coronavirus-ravaged Spain and Italy. The death toll in Italy surged to 6,077 — the highest in the world.
  • China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak first emerged, announced it would lift travel restrictions on the region except for the capital, Wuhan. In Beijing, new testing and quarantine requirements were issued for all overseas arrivals to stem the rising tide of imported cases.
  • A team of ear, nose and throat doctors said that losing your sense of smell may be a hidden symptom of the coronavirus. The British doctors warned that adults experiencing recent loss of their sense of smell could be unknown carriers of the virus and urged them to consider self-isolation.

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