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United States reports first coronavirus death

The United States reported its first coronavirus death, a man in his 50s with underlying health problems.

Washington state declared a state of emergency on Saturday hours after  the first person in the U.S. to died from the coronavirus outbreak.

Washington state public health officials said two additional confirmed cases of the virus are associated with a long term care facility in the state. Officials said 27 patients and 25 staff members at the Life Care Center of Kirkland had reported symptoms similar to the coronavirus. The facility has 108 residents and 180 employees.




The two additional cases include a facility staff worker in their 40s, who was in satisfactory condition, and a facility resident in their 70s, who was in serious condition.

The patient who died was identified by state and county health officials as a man in his 50s. The patient was being treated at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Washington, with serious respiratory issues, according to hospital spokesperson Julia Irwin.

While President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., initially identified the patient as a woman, state and King County officials during a news conference hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insisted that the patient was a man. Later, CDC Director Robert Redfield tweeted that the agency had mistakenly identified the patient as female when briefing the president and vice president.



Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the new coronavirus task force, expressed his condolences to the patient’s family.

Meanwhile, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in declaring a state of emergency that it would “allow us to get the resources we need.”

Trump said there are 22 patients in the U.S. who have been confirmed as having the virus. He said 15 of them are either recovered fully “or well on their way.”

Trump did not appear to be counting Americans who had contracted the disease before re-entering the country. According to the CDC on Saturday, at least 59 people in the U.S. have been infected with the virus. Of those cases, 12 are travel-related, and three are person-to-person spread. Most of the cases are among Americans repatriated to the U.S., including three cases that originated in Wuhan, China, and 44 aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Trump told reporters that more cases of the virus in the U.S. are “likely,” but that “healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.”

“So healthy people, if you’re healthy, you will probably go through a process, and you’ll be fine,” the president said.


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