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Trump again hails U.S. COVID-19 testing as cases rise by record levels

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a "Spirit of America Showcase" event in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

(Reuters) - President Donald Trump, yet again, hailed the United States’ coronavirus testing as COVID-19 cases in the country increased by more than 55,000 on Thursday, a new daily global record for the pandemic.

A surge in coronavirus cases over the past week has put Trump’s handling of the crisis under the microscope and led several governors to halt plans to reopen their states after strict lockdowns.

“There is a rise in Coronavirus cases because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country,” Trump said in a tweet late on Thursday.

“This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is down,” he said.

The daily U.S. tally of cases stood at 55,274 late on Thursday, topping the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.

The wave of new cases has several governors halting or back-pedaling on plans to reopen their states after months of strict lockdowns, closing beaches and canceling fireworks displays over the upcoming Independence Day weekend.

The United States has now recorded nearly 129,000 deaths from the outbreak, nearly a quarter of the known global total.

More than 10.89 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 520,066 have died, according to a Reuters tally. The United States alone has recorded about 2.76 million cases.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China late last year.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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