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United States
On 20 January 2020, the first known case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington in a man who returned from Wuhan on 15 January. On 31 January, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency. On 28 January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they had developed their own testing kit. The United States had a slow start in testing, which obscured the extent of the outbreak, marred by defective tests produced by the government in February, lack of federal approval for non-government kits, and restrictive criteria for people to qualify for a test.

By 2 March there were 80 confirmed cases, half of them in California. Florida and New York had declared their first two cases and the state of Washington reported many suspected cases and the first death. Vice President Mike Pence maintained that the threat of the virus spreading throughout the U.S. was small. On 6 March, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the outbreak. Corporations encouraged employees to work from home. Sports events and seasons were cancelled.

On 13 March, Trump declared a national emergency, which made federal funds available to respond to the crisis. Beginning on 15 March, many businesses closed or reduced hours and schools across the country were shutting down. By 17 March, the epidemic was confirmed in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. On 26 March, the United States had more confirmed cases than any other country. U.S. federal health inspectors surveyed 323 hospitals in late March; reporting "severe shortages" of test supplies, "widespread shortages" of personal protective equipment (PPE), and other strained resources due to extended patient stays while awaiting test results.

On 22 April, it was reported that two Californians had died from the virus (not, as previously thought, influenza) on 6 and 17 February, three weeks before the first official COVID-19 death in the U.S. had been acknowledged. By 24 April, 889,309 cases had been confirmed and 50,256 people had died. As of 17 May, according to a New York Times database, more than 1,474,600 people had been infected and at least 88,600 had died. The Times said that prior to 29 April only deaths confirmed through testing were reported, but new criteria included probable cases and deaths. As of 17 May, the U.S., with about 4.25 percent of the world's population, had about 29 percent of the confirmed coronavirus deaths.

The White House was criticised for downplaying the threat and controlling messaging, directing health officials and scientists to coordinate public statements with the office of Vice-President Pence. On 14 April, President Trump halted funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), saying they mismanaged the pandemic.  On 1 May the CDC presented a 17-page report to the administration, written to provide advice for faith leaders, places of business and other public places, educators, and state and local officials as they reopened. The White House refused to use the report, and Trump said he felt the guidelines were too restrictive, commenting "I see the new normal being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was."

By mid-May reports of new cases began to level off and most states began to open restaurants and other businesses, placing limits on the numbers of people allowed in at one time. The head of the NIAID, Anthony Fauci, warned that if caution was not used the rate of infections could rebound and he was particularly concerned about opening the schools in the fall. President Trump expressed disapproval of Fauci's statements, saying "To me it's not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools." By mid-June, new cases began to rise again, with increases in the percent of positive tests and number of hospitalizations in states such as Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona. On 12 July, almost 6 months after the first case was recognised in the U.S., the highest single day case record of 15,300 infections was recorded in Florida.

On 6 July 2020, President Trump's administration sent a notice to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres that they would withdraw from the World Health Organization, effective 6 July 2021, under the terms of a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1948 which requires the U.S. to give one-year notice and clear its debts to leave the WHO.


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