RNA - Two people have died in Florida, one in California and 16 in Washington State as hundreds of cases of infection have been reported around the country.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has continued to mount on Saturday, bringing the nationwide total to more than 430, as the administration of President Donald Trump continues to send mixed messages on who can get a coronavirus test kit.
Of the 16 coronavirus deaths in Washington State, at least 14 have been associated with Life Care Center in suburban Seattle, according to the King County Health Department. Sixty-three residents remain at the facility and 54 have been transferred to various hospitals, according to Tim Killian, a Spokesman for the Kirkland facility. Of the remaining residents, six are showing symptoms, while all residents remain confined to their rooms.
Additionally, 70 employees were showing symptoms, he said, and have been asked not to return to work. There were 180 employees.
A leaked document published in media revealed that US hospitals were preparing for a major coronavirus outbreak with unprecedented scale. The document estimates a death toll of 480,000 from 96 million coronavirus infections in the US.
In related news, top hospitals across the US were preparing for the coronavirus outbreak, according to a US healthcare executive.
A US Navy sailor stationed in Naples, Italy, has tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first positive case for a US service member stationed in Europe, according to a statement from US European Command and US Naval Forces Europe-Africa. Last month, a US soldier stationed in South Korea tested positive for coronavirus - the first American service member to be confirmed with the virus. As a precautionary measure, the US has canceled different joint military exercises with Israel and South Korea due to the outbreak. Italy and South Korea are two of the nations most seriously affected by the epidemic outside of the virus' origin, China.
As New York has witnessed a jump in the number of coronavirus cases recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency.
Also, the first case of coronavirus was presumably registered in the capital of the United States, Washington DC, Mayor of Washington DC, Muriel Bowser declared.
An attendee of a conservative conference where President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke last week has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the host of the conference.
The American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, has also announced that the attendee was exposed to the virus before the four-day event and tested positive for it on Saturday.
Others who spoke at the conference included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. Also in attendance were Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son.
Also, more than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess have been stuck on the cruise ship off California for days. Their two-week journey from San Francisco to Hawaii was interrupted on its return leg Wednesday when officials learned that a California man who'd traveled on the vessel last month contracted coronavirus and died this week. As of Friday, 21 people tested positive for the infection, 19 were crew members of the ship and two were passengers.
Trump claimed again on Friday that anyone who needed a coronavirus test “gets a test”, but from Washington State to Florida to New York, doctors and patients are clamoring for tests that they say are in woefully short supply, and their frustration is mounting alongside the growing number of cases around the country.
In California, where thousands are being monitored for the virus, only 516 tests had been conducted by the state as of Thursday. Washington health officials have more cases than they can currently process. In New York, where cases have quadrupled this week, a New York City official pleaded for more test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a report by The New York Times.
“The slow federal action on this matter has impeded our ability to beat back this epidemic,” the official warned in a letter Friday.
Yet, US media accused the administration and the CDC of hiding the truth, disclosing that the kits may have contaminated many people. A top federal scientist sounded the alarm about what he feared was contamination in an Atlanta lab where the government made test kits for the coronavirus, sources familiar with the situation in Atlanta disclosed last Sunday, Axios reported.
The coronavirus may have spread undetected in the US for weeks, according to a gene sequencing analysis. Researchers who studied cases in the US say that the virus may have been spreading there for weeks, suggesting the possibility that up to 1,500 people may have been infected, according to The Washington Post.
Trump has defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus, and accused Democrats of trying to politicize the issue. But, lawmakers in both parties have expressed growing alarm that the threat of coronavirus in the United States is serious, and that the Trump administration is not doing enough to fight it. Critics are ripping into Trump for politicizing the situation.
On a global scale, the number of coronavirus cases has exceeded 105,000, with more than 90 countries reporting infections. In addition, nearly 3,500 people have already died from the disease.