A Washington man has died in the first coronavirus death in the US

A Washington man has died in the first coronavirus death in the US
Source: CNN

An American man in his 50s has died of coronavirus, making him the first to die of the virus in the US.

Initially the CDC misidentified the victim as being female, leading US President Donald Trump to announce during a press conference on February 29 that, “Unfortunately one person passed away overnight. She was a wonderful woman, a medically high-risk patient in her late 50s.”

So far there are 71 cases which are either confirmed or presumptively positive of the coronavirus in the US.

Two additional cases of coronavirus at a long-term facility

A long-term medical facility, Life Care Center of Kirkland had reported two cases of coronavirus-confirmed patients. One is a health care worker in her forties and the other is a facility resident in her seventies.

The resident is reportedly in serious condition.

There are 108 residents and 180 staff in total at the medical facility, with 27 patients and 25 facility workers showing symptoms which are consistent with the coronavirus.

Screenings on tourists from South Korea, Italy and Iran

Trump also said that additional health screenings on tourists from the worst hit countries such as South Korea, Italy and Iran would be conducted.

Health screenings will also be carried out on individuals who have traveled to China in recent weeks.

Vice President Mike Pence, recently appointed the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has announced that additional travel restrictions on Iran, Italy and South Korea have been put in place.

Trump says a vaccine against the virus is in the works

Trump will be meeting with the “world’s largest pharmaceutical companies” on March 2 to discuss recommendations on a potential vaccine.

“As an important part of our efforts, on Monday, I’ll be meeting with the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, actually. They’ll be coming to the White House, and we’re talking about a vaccine and developing, very quickly — and they’ve already started working on it — developing, very rapidly, a vaccine for the virus, to combat the virus,” Trump said.

“And I’d like to just ask and caution that the media — we would respectfully ask the media and politicians and everybody else involved not do anything to incite panic because there’s no reason to panic at all, ” Trump added, saying that the situation is being handled professionally.

In his press conference, Trump also praised China, the country where the virus originated, for its “aggressive” efforts to contain the virus