A version of this story appeared in the March 27 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday. (CNN)The United States is now the epicenter of a shifting global pandemic. With more than 82,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, it has surpassed China, Spain and Italy, the hardest-hit countries to date. Note: those nations have still recorded more deaths. The grim milestone comes as US officials reported a record number of fatalities in a single day. So how did America get here? A series of missteps, and missed opportunities: a failure to take the virus seriously even as it brought China to its knees, a fumbled federal government response to testing that left the US in the dark about the magnitude of the outbreak, and a desperate shortage of masks, personal protective equipment and ventilators that has put both medical workers and patients at risk. After initially downplaying the significance of the disease, repeatedly calling it the “China” or “Wuhan” virus, President Donald Trump spoke last night with President Xi Jinping, who said China was willing to offer the US support in tackling the outbreak, but warned that it needed to take

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