Washington state health officials have confirmed the first U.S. death as a result of coronavirus, or COVID-19, the disease that originated from Wuhan, China. The death was announced on Saturday, as The Associated Press reports. President Donald Trump had identified the patient as a woman in her 50s. However, health officials in Washington state confirmed the individual was a male. He died in a facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.
"It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family and friends," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. "We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus." The news arrives just after a number of events across the country, including multiple video game conferences, were canceled as a result of increased precautions over the virus.
CNN reports that President Donald Trump is expected to give an update on the country's response to COVID-19 on Saturday. However, at a rally in South Carolina on Friday, Trump accused Democrats of "politicizing" the virus. "They have no clue, they can't even count their votes in Iowa," he said. "This is their new hoax."
Health officials across Washington, Oregon, and California have expressed concern that the coronavirus will continue to spread through the West Coast. One of the main concerns is that three patients have been infected through unknown means, as they had not traveled abroad or had any close contact with those who had.
The total confirmed cases of the virus sits at 85,203 as of Saturday, 79,251 of which are in mainland China, while there have been 2,921 deaths. The United States has 66 confirmed cases of the virus thus far.