Coronavirus: Things the US has got wrong - and got right

Nurse in Washington state Image copyright European photopress agency

It has been more than two months since the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed in the US. Since then, the outbreak has spread across the nation, with more than 236,000 cases and over 5,600 deaths.

The US is now the global epicentre of the pandemic, surpassing the number of reported cases in China, where the virus began, and Italy, the hardest-hit European nation.

Although public health officials report that the peak of the outbreak in the US is still weeks, perhaps months, away, shortcomings in the US response - as well as some strengths - have already become apparent.

Here's a look at some of them.

MISTAKES

Medical supply shortages

Masks, gloves, gowns and ventilators. Doctors and hospitals across the country, but particularly in areas hardest hit by the pandemic, are scrambling for items essential to help those stricken by the virus and protect medical professionals.

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Coronavirus: Trump changes tack on coronavirus crisis

Dr Anthony Fauci (right), Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, waits for President Donald Trump to arrive at Tuesday's briefing in Washington DC. Photo: 31 March 2020 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Both President Trump (left) and Dr Fauci acknowledged the seriousness of the situation

There was no sugar-coating it this time. No optimistic talk of miracle cures or Easter-time business re-openings.

There was just the cold, hard reality of the facts on the ground.

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Coronavirus: Trump knows economic meltdown brings political pain

Beaches closed Image copyright Getty Images

The latest US unemployment numbers were predicted to be catastrophic. The actual total, 3.3 million, turned out to be even worse than expected.

The record-breaking amount reflects a US economy put into deep-freeze almost overnight. The government-ordered shutdown hasn't just shuttered businesses temporarily, it has vaporised the jobs of millions of Americans - many of whom are the particularly vulnerable hourly service workers who live paycheque to paycheque.

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US election primaries: Game over for Bernie Sanders?

A t-shirt featuring Mr Sanders' picture bears the words 'Hindsight is 2020' Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Sanders will be doing some soul-searching on whether to continue his 2020 campaign

Tuesday may end up being the day Joe Biden put the Democratic nomination out of reach.

With dominating wins in Florida, Illinois and Arizona, he padded his previous 894 to 743 lead and moved closer to the magic 1,991 number of delegates to secure the nomination.

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Biden wants woman VP and other debate takeaways

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the Democratic debate Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The candidates face off, six feet apart due to coronavirus concerns

Nine months after 20 Democratic candidates gathered for the first debate of the 2020 primary season, it has come down to two candidates - Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

Given the circumstances, one might expect a sombre mood with respectful disagreements. Instead it was an at-times feisty affair, with Sanders going on the attack in a way he never did four years ago in his unsuccessful presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.

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Coronavirus: Who Trump supporters blame for virus 'hysteria'

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Media caption"Every one of these doctors said: 'How do you know so much about this?'"

With stock markets crashing, Democratic candidates cancelling events and politicians scrambling to come up with a response, the coronavirus outbreak is casting a long shadow over US politics. But some Trump supporters say the growing crisis is largely the work of a familiar villain - the US media.

Conservative radio host and three-time congressional candidate Dan Bongino had a message for the almost 2,000 Donald Trump supporters gathered in an airport hotel convention room in the toney town of Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday night.

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US election primaries: Key takeaways for Biden and Sanders

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Media captionBiden calls for unity with Sanders: "Together we'll beat Donald Trump."

Call it Mini Super Tuesday, or Super Tuesday: The Sequel. No matter the name, a week after Joe Biden surged into the front-runner position, he consolidated his lead. The bottom line is the race now appears to be firmly in his control.

Six states held primary contests for the Democratic nomination, with the former vice-president winning Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan.

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Elizabeth Warren: Where did it go wrong for her?

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Media captionWarren drops out: "Little girls will have to wait four more years for a woman president."

Now that she has dropped out, post-mortems on Elizabeth Warren's campaign - which was leading the polls in the autumn - have begun.

Many point to her shifting her support from an immediate push for universal government-run healthcare as president to a phased transition. It caused liberals to stick with Bernie Sanders and centrist to have their doubts about her - all on an issue that, unlike ethics and economic reform, was never her top priority.

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Super Tuesday: The winners and losers in Democratic race

Sanders, Warren, Biden and Bloomberg

A four-way contest soon became a two-horse race as the results from 14 US states rolled in. But who were the biggest winners and losers in the Democratic race to challenge Donald Trump?

WINNERS

Joe Biden

What happened?

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South Carolina primary: Who are the winners and losers?

Joe Biden taking selfies Image copyright Getty Images

On Saturday, South Carolina became the fourth US state to join the race to find a Democrat to take on Republican Donald Trump in November's general election. Who were the big winners and losers?

Enter the most diverse electorate of the states that have gone so far - one that better reflects the national make-up of the Democratic Party.

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