Donald Trump has suggested the coronavirus “may never come back” at his latest White House briefing

Donald Trump has suggested the coronavirus “may never come back” at his latest White House briefing, a note of blind optimism undermined by his top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci, who says he expects the virus to linger at least until the autumn.

A political storm is brewing meanwhile over Dr Rick Bright, a vaccines expert who tells The New York Times he was ousted as the director of a federal biomedical agency for disputing the administration’s efforts to promote hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for Covid-19.

This would ease the strain on the hospitality sector, which has been allowed to carry out home deliveries throughout the crisis.

The manufacturing and construction sectors would be allowed to get working again at the same time.

US navy Central Command stated after the confrontation on April 15 that the Iranian vessels had “repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches” while the US warships were performing air-integration exercises with army Apache attack helicopters in international waters.

However, Mr Trump appeared to have taken his own generals by surprise with his announcement, which suggested he was changing the navy’s rules of engagement. It is authorised to use force only in self defence.

There was less welcome news for Sweden today as its daily infection count reached 751, its highest yet. The daily death toll fell sharply to 84, but that was enough to take the overall tally past 2,000. 

Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University says the UK epidemic started falling from its peak as early as mid-March, when Britain was taking a similar approach to Sweden by encouraging hand-washing and social distancing rather than ordering a lockdown.  

President Paul Biya signed a decree to commute sentences and free some prisoners in April, AFP reports. The country’s justice minister said that 608 prisoners had been freed in Doula, the economic capital, and another 700 released in the capital Yaounde.

More prisoners in other areas are in the process of being released, the ministry said, with the exact number to be determined by commissions put in place to study who is eligible.