While the World Health Organization said there will be “no silver bullet” to end the coronavirus, President Trump said he thinks the U.S. is doing a better job of handling the pandemic than “most other countries,” mincing the words of Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the coronavirus White House task force, who suggested the U.S. has entered a new phase of virus contagion -- and not in a good way.

Trump made the announcement on Monday in a tweet, saying, “With the exception of New York & a few other locations, we’ve done much better than most other countries in dealing with the China virus. Many of these countries are now having a major second wave. The fake news is working overtime to make the USA (& me) look as bad as possible!”

Trump’s tweet came just a day after Birx appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, where she said coronavirus has reached rural areas that were spared at the beginning of the outbreak when the virus hit mostly urban, densely populated cities.

“What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread,” Birx said as she urged Americans to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to social distance, wear masks and wash hands.

Birx continued: “To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus. If you're in multigenerational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.”

Birx attributed the uptick in positive coronavirus cases to “superspreading events,” while Trump has blamed the rise on increased coronavirus testing.

The warning to all of Americans by Birx came ahead of a worldwide warning from World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros emphasized the need for a safe and effective vaccine to combat COVID-19 and said, despite the development of treatments, “there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.

“For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all," said Dr. Tedros.

“Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.

“For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.

“The message to people and governments is clear: Do it all. And when it’s under control, keep going!” he added.

Six possiblecoronavirus vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials.

In other coronavirus news:

  • States across the U.S. are looking to pull thousands of National Guard troops from the coronavirus front lines as federal funding is set to expire on Aug. 21, Politico reported. The White House has not responded to governors’ requests for more coronavirus aid, which will now require troops to be removed from their posts and quarantined for two weeks prior to returning home. States such as Washington and Arizona have said they will continue to fund the troops, while others are unable to afford to do so. The Pentagon and FEMA also have endorsed continued coronavirus support.
  • President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Neel Kashkari said the government should impose another coronavirus lockdown for a month or longer to help boost the U.S. economy. Kashkari made the recommendation on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. "That's the only way we're really going to have a real robust economic recovery. Otherwise, we're going to have flare-ups, lockdowns and a very halting recovery with many more job losses and many more bankruptcies for an extended period of time unfortunately,” he said.
  • Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten apologized after 36 crew members and five passengers tested positive for coronavirus aboard one of its ships after procedural errors occurred and may have contributed to the outbreak. The ship, which also acts as a local ferry, may have infected a reported 69 municipalities where passengers disembarked. Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement: “We have made mistakes. On behalf of all of us in Hurtigruten, I am sorry for what has happened. We take full responsibility.”
  • Sturgis (South Dakota) Motorcycle Rally will go on this Friday despite the concerns of more than 60% of residents. The event, which typically attracts more than 250,000 people, was approved in an 8-1 vote by city officials with guidelines in place for safety. Under the decision, the mayor still has the authority to cancel the event under a series of conditions.
  • The largest school district outside Atlanta in Georgia reported 260 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus or been exposed to the virus. The cases were primarily contracted through community spread, a Gwinnett County School District spokeswoman Sloan Roach said. The positive cases put a spotlight on the challenges of reopening schools in the fall – a decisionfor which the Trump administration has pushed.
  • Both Lord & Taylor and Tailored Brands, the parent of Men’s Wearhouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the weight of the coronavirus. The two retailers had closed their stores temporarily in March due to the pandemic. The two retailers join several others such as JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and Brooks Brothers in filing for bankruptcy protection amid the pandemic.
  • Back-to-school spending is expected to decrease by 6.4% this year as uncertainty over school reopenings looms, research from GlobalData said. This will be the lowest level of back-to-school spending since 2015. Back-to-school shopping is second only to holiday season spending. While most retailers are preparing for lackluster school sales, electronics are expected to see a boon. The National Retail Federation expects record-breaking in this category as students learn virtually.
  • A party in Los Angeles for first responders has come under criticism as dozens of attendees showed up without face masks or failed to follow social distancing guidelines, CNN reported. The bar, where the party was held, Sassafras Saloon, confirmed the event, saying it was meant to “honor a group of first responders.” While the name of the group was not released, the incident was under investigation by the Los Angeles County Health Department, which said, “This is exactly the situation that puts our entire community at unnecessary risk.”
  • Globally there are more than 18.1 million positive cases of the coronavirus, with COVID-19 deaths topping as of Monday late afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world in cases with more than 4.69 million positive cases of the virus and more than 155,000 deaths. Brazil and India trail the U.S. in coronavirus cases with more than 2.7 million and 1.8 million confirmed cases, respectively.

Fever check: Coronavirus cases are now rising fast in Ethiopia - prevention fatigue among the public is now the big fear Fever check: Coronavirus cases are now rising fast in Ethiopia - prevention fatigue among the public is now the big fear Photo: AFP / EDUARDO SOTERAS