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5,000 coronavirus deaths in U.S.

Drive to
confess: A
priest hears
confession
in the car
park of a
church in
the US state
of Massachusetts
PICTURE: REX

MORE than 5,000 lives have now been lost due to coronavirus in the US.

The death toll, which includes a six-week-old baby, has risen sharply and the number of confirmed infections also climbed to more than 200,000 — the highest in the world.

Vice president Mike Pence warned the rise in deaths put the US on a similar trajectory to Italy, where the virus has claimed more than 13,000 victims.

The White House has advised the public to practise social distancing while multiple states have imposed lockdown orders and shut businesses

But the administration’s medical experts predict that even if Americans do stay at home, some 100,000 to 240,000 people are still likely to die. Cases in the US are expected to peak in about two weeks.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits has hit a record high for the second week in a row. Last week, more than 6.65million applied for financial aid, up from 3.3million the week before, official figures stated yesterday.

That brings the number of people in the US who have lost their jobs in the past fortnight to 10million.

US president Donald Trump remains under fire, with complaints he was too slow to act. He hit back on Twitter yesterday, saying: ‘Massive amounts of medical supplies, even hospitals and medical centers, are being delivered directly to states and hospitals by the Federal Government. Some have insatiable appetites & are never satisfied.

‘Remember, we are a backup for them. The complainers should have been stocked up and ready long before this crisis hit.’

Conspiracy theorist aims train at ship

‘Waking people up’: The derailed train engine in the Port of Los Angeles PICTURE: AP

A CONSPIRACY theorist derailed a speeding train 250ft from a US Navy hospital ship helping tackle coronavirus.

Eduardo Moreno said he crashed the train through barriers towards the hospital ship Mercy on Tuesday, because he was suspicious about its presence in the Port of Los Angeles.

The train engineer, 44, told the FBI he did it to try to ‘wake people up’ to the idea the ship was there for an ‘alternate purpose’. No one was hurt.