US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

Sunday 1441/12/19 - 2020/08/09
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ROME, Aug 9, 2020, SPA -- With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe, AP reported.
Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America's bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe's epidemic.
Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world's highest official death tolls at 35,000.
But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn't have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.
--SPA
21:12 LOCAL TIME 18:12 GMT
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