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Trump says virus in US will get worse before it gets better

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President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Washington.   -   Copyright  Evan Vucci/AP Photo
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US President Donald Trump admitted at a press conference on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak will likely get worse before it gets better.

"It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. Something I don't like saying about things, but that's the way it is," Trump said at his first briefing on the virus in three months.

Unlike previous briefings, Trump took the podium himself without the public health experts whom he has since taken to criticising.

At times, the briefing was marked by changes on certain topics: holding up a mask, Trump encouraged Americans to wear them while he has often been criticised for refusing to.

“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact," he said, adding that he was "getting used" to it.

He also implored younger Americans "to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings" in a change from his championing of reopening even as virus cases continue to rise.

US infections have risen dramatically in several states, with record new daily case numbers. Several states have had to backtrack on reopening.

There are nearly 3.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and more than 142,000 deaths.

White House aides have for months urged Trump to be more disciplined in his public statements about the pandemic, according to AP.

But despite the more measured tone on Tuesday, he continued to call COVID-19 the "China virus" while also touting a reduction in deaths and progress on vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.