Virus pandemic may soon center on US after ‘very large acceleration,’ WHO warns

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A man looks toward the skyline from Bernal Heights Hill in San Francisco, Monday, March 16, 2020. Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate Monday affecting nearly 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself. The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The World Health Organization is warning that the U.S. could soon become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic following a recent boom in diagnosed cases.

In a WHO press conference on Tuesday, reporters asked if America may become the epicenter of the pandemic, Reuters reports.

“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential. … We cannot say that is the case yet, but it does have that potential.”

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris

Harris says that in the previous 24 hours, 85% of all newly reported coronavirus cases had been in the U.S. and Europe, with 40% of those in the states.

Harris’ announcement follows President Donald Trump’s reassurances that the country would soon be “open for business.”

“America will, again, and soon, be open for business—very soon,”

President Trump’s Monday White House coronavirus briefing

While certain states have already imposed stay-at-home orders, Trump has not imposed a national lockdown.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown on Monday night, while India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a complete lockdown for India’s 3 billion people on Tuesday.

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