Seattle: the first death of the new coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States, and President Donald Trump urged the Americans not to panic.
Health officials said the person who died in Washington State was a very small number of people and there were no known signs of transferring the virus to global hotspots, suggesting that the pathogen is likely to spread in the community.
Officials told AFP that the death took place in King County, the most densely populated state and home to Seattle, a city with more than 700,000 residents.
Seattle and King County public health officials, Jeff Duchin, said the victims were in their fifties at the time and had “potential health problems.”
“It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19,” Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement, sending condolences to the victim’s loved ones.
Inslee declared the state of emergency due to the corona virus, releasing funds for government agencies and, if necessary, using the Washington National Guard.
Speaking at a White House news conference Trump said that “additional cases in the United States are likely,” but added that “healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.”
“Our country is prepared for any circumstance,” Trump insisted, calling on “the media and politicians and everybody else involved not to do anything to incite panic.”
Trump called the victims “good women,” but the CDC later said it had misled the president in an earlier briefing.
Washington State also reported Saturday’s first coronavirus case among health workers and the first possible outbreak in a nursing home.
Prior to this, Oregon and California confirmed at the end of last week that the first American patients had not traveled abroad or had contact with someone known to be ill.
The CDC said, “Although there is still much to be learned about the situation in California, Oregon and Washington, preliminary information raises concerns about the immediate threat of COVID-19 to certain communities in the United States.”