Coronavirus updates LIVE: Trump defends decision to play golf as toll rises; WHO pauses drug trial amid safety concerns

US President Donald Trump paid tribute to fallen members of the US military on Monday to mark the Memorial Day holiday, while defending his decision to spend most of the weekend playing golf as the US death toll from the coronavirus outbreak neared 100,000.

“Some stories about the fact that in order to get outside and perhaps, even a little exercise, I played golf over the weekend. The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin – I knew this would happen!” Trump tweeted, saying this was the first time he had played in nearly three months.

Before becoming President, Trump had repeatedly criticised his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama, for playing golf, including during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

The United States has more than 1.6 million infections, the highest in the world, while forecast models for possible COVID-19 deaths predict the death toll will exceed 100,000 by June 1. But almost all 50 states have begun relaxing their coronavirus restrictions.

Reuters, AP

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