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Up to 150m could be infected in US as Donald Trump ‘plays down’ crisis

UP TO 150million Americans could become infected with coronavirus before the pandemic is over, the US Congress physician has warned.

Dr Brian Monahan made the grim estimate as president Donald Trump (pictured) was accused of underplaying the crisis by telling people the virus would ‘go away’.

The death toll in the US yesterday rose to 31 as the number of recorded cases swept past 1,000.

But there were some fears the total number of people suffering with the virus had been underestimated by a factor of ten, due to the shortage of testing equipment.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, agreed ‘many, many millions’ could be affected by the virus and promised 4million testing kits would be available by the end of the week.

He also called for large sporting events to be banned to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

‘We would recommend that there not be large crowds,’ Dr Fauci said.

‘If that means not having people in the audience as the NBA plays, so be it. If we don’t do very serious mitigation now, we’re going to be weeks behind and the horse is going to be out of the barn, and that’s the reason why we’ve been saying we’ve got to change our behaviour,’ he added.

Events, including Coachella and Stagecoach festivals have already been rescheduled, and Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have also cancelled rallies in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The most deaths, so far, have come in Washington state, where 24 have been reported. There have also been claims a number of care home residents in the north-east state are infected by Covid-19.