11 March 2020 - 09:14
News ID: 449535
A
The coronavirus crisis spawned new anxiety in the United States on Monday as confirmed cases and death toll rose, while some lawmakers with recent close contacts with President Donald Trump announced that they had decided to self-quarantine after being exposed to the new virus at a conference.

RNA - At least 26 people have died from the sickness in the United States - 22 in Washington State, two in Florida and two in California. Nationwide, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to more than 710 in 36 states, according to figures from local, state and federal health officials.

A nursing home in a Seattle suburb has become the epicenter of the US outbreak. Nineteen people with ties to the Life Care Center of Kirkland have died. More than 60 residents remain at the facility and nearly 55 have been transferred to various hospitals. Of the remaining residents, at least five are showing symptoms, while all residents remain confined to their rooms. Additionally, 70 employees were showing symptoms, and have been asked not to return to work. There were 180 employees.

The commander of US Army Forces in Europe and several of his staff may have been exposed to the coronavirus during a recent conference, the secretary of the army disclosed on Monday. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement that Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli and several staffers "may have been exposed to COVID-19 during a recent conference". The announcement marks the highest-ranking case of self-quarantine implemented by a US military official.

On Monday, the Grand Princess, a cruise ship carrying at least 21 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, arrived in the port of Oakland after being held at sea for several days. The vessel has been in limbo since Wednesday, when officials announced that a passenger from a previous cruise ship on the Grand Princess had died.

The Pentagon will provide four US military facilities for passengers to be quarantined after they are removed from a 3,500-person cruise ship, the defense department announced.

In Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order to another cruise ship, the Caribbean Princess, after learning two crew members had transferred from another vessel where at least one guest tested positive for the virus. Neither crew member appears symptomatic and they are both remaining in their cabins out of an abundance of caution, according to a statement by Princess Cruises.

The White House insisted that Trump doesn't need a coronavirus test, despite several members of his political circle self-quarantining after they came into contact with a man later diagnosed with the disease.

Representative Doug Collins, who met and shook hands with Trump last Friday at the headquarters of the CDC, said he was just informed he had been in contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus at a summit last month.

A second representative, Matt Gaetz, who traveled with Trump on Air Force One on Monday, likewise announced his self-quarantine after being notified that he too had come in close contact with the infected person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference days ago.

Trump's incoming chief of staff, Rep. Mark Meadows, has also stated that he is under self-quarantine after possibly "coming into contact" with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier, two members of Congress, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar, had stated that they are isolating themselves after determining they had contact at a political conference in suburban Washington with a man who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

One Democratic congresswoman, Rep. Julia Brownley, has also announced that she and her staff are now working remotely after finding out that she recently came into contact with someone who tested positive.

White House officials are growing increasingly frustrated at what they see as Trump's consistent bids to downplay the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, a tendency that has led to a clash in messaging with public health officials.

Trump has been promising the imminent arrival of a vaccine to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Federal health officials have repeatedly pointed out that his timetable is off — it will take at least a year — but the American president’s single-minded focus on warp-speed production of a new vaccine represents a striking philosophical shift.

State governments are working to contain the spread of coronavirus in the United States, as federal officials believe more testing for the illness will likely see the number of known cases continue to increase.

Eight US states, including New York, Washington, California, and Florida, have declared states of emergency amid the spread of COVID-19.

Stocks are cratering as markets close on Monday, with the Dow down close to 7 percent in the largest single-day drop in NYSE history and the S&P and Nasdaq not far behind.

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 reports.

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.

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 115,000, with more than 100 countries reporting infections. In addition, nearly 4,000 people have already died from the disease.

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