BREAKING NEWS: Number of people dead from coronavirus in the U.S. rises to SIX after four new deaths as top infectious disease official warns the spread has reached ‘pandemic proportions
- The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. climbed to six – all in Washington state – on Monday
- Five of the six deaths have been linked to the LifeCare long-term care facility just outside Seattle
- It comes after Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that the coronavirus has likely reached ‘pandemic proportions’
- The leading expert went on to say the U.S. might need to consider social mitigation, including closing down schools and not allowing events where large crowds are in confined spaces
- It comes after Dr Matt McCarthy, who works at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, warned coronavirus cases will surge into the thousands by next week
- He also claimed he doesn’t have the tools to properly care for patients because of the lack of coronavirus tests being made available to hospitals
- Health officials have been scrambling to get their own coronavirus testing kits up and running after getting stuck with faulty tests from the federal government
- Scott Gottlieb, who is the former FDA commissioner said three critical weeks were lost in trying to contain the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. because of the faulty tests
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating a manufacturing defect in some initial coronavirus test kits
- It comes as New York Gov Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Sunday that a healthcare worker in her 30s was the first confirmed case in the state
The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has now climbed to six as the top infectious disease official in the country warned the disease had likely reached ‘pandemic proportions’.
Health officials announced on Monday that four additional people had died in Washington state. Two other patients in that same area died over the weekend.
Five of the six deaths have been linked to the LifeCare long-term aged care facility in Kirkland just outside Seattle.
News of the additional deaths came after Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News on Monday that the disease had now reached ‘outbreak proportions’ as 91 cases were confirmed across the U.S.
‘We’re dealing with an evolving situation. We’re dealing with clearly an emerging infectious disease that has now reached outbreak proportions and likely pandemic proportions,’ Dr Fauci said. ‘If you look at multiple definitions of what a pandemic is… multiple sustained transmissions of of a highly infectious agent in multiple regions of the globe.’
Dr Fauci went on to say the U.S. might need to consider social mitigation, including closing down schools and not allowing events where large crowds are in confined spaces.
‘We’re not ready for it right now but we need to be at least thinking about the possibility,’ he said in the interview that will air in full on NBC Nightly News on Monday.
Dr Fauci also speculated that the current mortality rate would go down as more cases are diagnosed.
‘I think 2.5 percent is probably a bit high… It’s dangerous to make firm kinds of predictions. I think it likely will be down around 1 percent but I’m not sure.’
Dr Fauci, who is one of the few medical professionals on the White House appointed task force to address the U.S. response to the disease, was reportedly banned from speaking out unless prior approval was given by Vice President Mike Pence’s office.
He denied on Monday that the Trump administration had pressured him to downplay his assessments of the disease, saying: ‘No, absolutely not. There’s no pressure. I tell it like it is. I’ve been doing that for 36 years and I will continue to tell it like it is.’
The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has now climbed to six. Five of the six deaths have been linked to the LifeCare (above) long-term aged care facility in Kirkland just outside Seattle in Washington state
Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that the coronavirus has likely reached ‘pandemic proportions’. He is pictured above flanked by Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the White House on Saturday
It comes after a New York doctor warned coronavirus cases in the U.S. will surge into the thousands by next week and the former head of the FDA claimed three critical weeks were lost in containing the spread of the virus due to faulty test kits given out by the government.
Health officials have been scrambling to get their own coronavirus testing kits up and running after getting stuck with faulty tests from the federal government that they said left them unable to diagnose people quickly.
State and local authorities are now also stepping up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew to 91 across the U.S. on Monday, with new infections announced in California, Florida, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York and Washington state.
New York confirmed its first coronavirus case on Sunday as a female healthcare worker in her 30s who returned from Iran last week and is now being quarantined in her Manhattan home.
Florida late Sunday declared a public health emergency as it confirmed its first two cases, while Rhode Island announced its two cases – two people who had returned from a school trip to Italy – had prompted the closure of a school so it could be sanitized.
Dr Matt McCarthy, who is a staff physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, has claimed he doesn’t have the tools to properly care for patients because of the lack of coronavirus tests being made available to hospitals.
He told CNBC‘s Squawk Box on Monday that the bungled test distribution was a ‘national scandal’ and claimed New York had only been able to properly carry out 32 tests so far.
‘We hear it’s coming very soon but I’m here to tell you that at one of the busiest hospitals in the country, I don’t have it at my finger tips. I still have to call the department of health, I still have to make my case and plead to test people,’ he said.
‘This is not good. We know that there are (91) cases in the United States. There are going to hundreds by middle week, there’s going to be thousands by next week. This is a testing issue.’
Dr Matt McCarthy (right), who works at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, warned coronavirus cases in the U.S. will surge into the thousands by next week. Scott Gottlieb(left), who is the former commissioner of the FDA, said three critical weeks were lost in trying to contain the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. because of the faulty tests
- Female healthcare worker, 39, has become the first confirmed case of coronavirus in New York and is currently isolated in her Manhattan apartment
- Officials confirmed over the weekend that two people had died in Washington after contracting coronavirus
- The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States has now soared to 91
- Florida late Sunday declared a public health emergency as it confirmed its first two cases and Rhode Island was hit with its second case
- Panic buying hit New York and other parts of the country over the weekend with anxious shoppers clearing supermarket shelves as they stock up on food and medical supplies
- Health officials have been scrambling to get their own coronavirus testing kits up and running after getting stuck with faulty tests from the federal government
- The coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year, has decimated global markets as it quickly moves around the world
He said the infectious disease team at his hospital, one of the busiest in the country, was equipped to deal with the outbreak but were crippled by the lack of diagnostic tests being made available by the government.
‘Keep in mind in New York state the person who tested positive is only the 32nd test we’ve done in this state. That is a national scandal,’ he said. ‘They’re testing 10,000 a day in some countries and we can’t get this off the ground.
‘I’m a practitioner on the firing line and I don’t have the tools to properly care for patients today.’
Scott Gottlieb, who is the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, also told CNBC that three critical weeks were lost in trying to contain the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. because of the faulty tests.
‘We lost about three critical weeks,’ he said.
He said they should have also been working with manufacturers and working with academic labs to ensure they weren’t just waiting for one test.
Gottlieb said the current situation is a consequence of that ‘hiccup’.
It comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Sunday that a healthcare worker in her 30s was the first confirmed coronavirus case in the state.
She is thought to have contracted the coronavirus in Iran and is now currently self-quarantined in her Manhattan home.
Health authorities had previously tested more than 30 New York patients who have reported symptoms consistent with the virus, but until now each suspected case had proven to be a false alarm.
The test confirming the woman’s illness was done at New York’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany rather than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gov. Cuomo said on Saturday his state would immediately begin using its own test kit developed in-state after asking the FDA on Friday for permission to do so.
Previously, tests on New York patients were still being handled only by federal authorities.
Panic buying hit New York and other parts of the country over the weekend with anxious shoppers clearing supermarket shelves as they stock up on food and medical supplies. Pictured is a Costco in Brooklyn on Monday
Patrons with shopping carts loaded with tissue and water wait in checkout queues at a very busy Costco in Miami, Florida
People gather as street vendor Mike James sells them surgical mask, hand sanitizer and alcohol in Flushing, Queens on Monday
The weeks-long struggle to expand local testing has been criticized as an early misstep in the response by President Donald Trump’s administration to the outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating a manufacturing defect in some initial coronavirus test kits that prompted some states to seek emergency approval to use their own test kits.
Three weeks ago, the FDA gave the green light for state and local labs to start using a testing kit developed by the CDC. But most labs that received the kits complained they had faulty components and produced inconclusive results, which the CDC later acknowledged.
In New York City, the kit they received was even more faulty than most, meaning city officials could not use a workaround released by the CDC this week. Meanwhile, it has had to courier samples to CDC’s laboratories in Atlanta, adding a day or more to the process.
As of last week, only seven state labs had the ability to test for the coronavirus locally. The CDC has since been working to manufacture new kits that produce more reliable results.
Over the weekend, authorities confirmed that two people had died in Washington state after contracting coronavirus.
The total number of U.S. case has now soared to 91. The spread of the disease, which began in China, has now seen more than 89,000 cases worldwide and over 3,000 fatalities.
The coronavirus appeared poised for a spike in the United States in part because of more testing to confirm cases.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis disclosed late Sunday that two people had become the first in his state to test positive and ordered his top health officer to declare a statewide public health emergency.
Two people who returned to Rhode Island from a trip to Europe have also tested positive for coronavirus. The patients in Rhode Island were on a school trip to Italy together in February. A third person from the trip is being tested and the school is shutting down for the week.
Empty shelves were seen at some supermarkets in New York as fear of the spread of coronavirus gripped the city
Empty shelves at a grocery store in New York. Shoppers have been stock-piling essential items over the weekend amid fears of the spreading virus
Concerned New Yorkers stocked up on masks and hand sanitizer on Monday after officials confirmed the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Manhattan
Two people who returned to Rhode Island from a trip to Europe have also tested positive for coronavirus. The patients in Rhode Island were on a school trip to Italy together in February. A third person from the trip is being tested and the school, St. Raphael Academy, is shutting down for the week
In the United States, a cluster of cases is centered on a nursing home near Seattle.
The Seattle and King County public health department confirmed late Sunday that a man in his 70s who was a resident of the LifeCare long-term care facility in Kirkland and had coronavirus had died the day before.
On Saturday, the department had reported the first death of a coronavirus patient in the United States, a man in his 50s who was living in Kirkland – the same city where the nursing home is located.
Six of the 10 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state have been residents or workers at LifeCare.
State officials said an additional 27 residents of the nursing home and 25 staff members were reporting symptoms of the virus, which can be similar to that of the common flu.
Trump administration officials worked on Sunday to soothe nerves and calm fears that a global recession was looming, arguing that the public and media were over-reacting and saying that stocks would bounce back because the American economy was fundamentally strong.
It came as panic buying hit New York and other parts of the country over the weekend with anxious shoppers clearing supermarket shelves as they stock up on food and medical supplies.
Trump said on Sunday that travelers to the United States from countries at high risk of coronavirus would be screened before boarding and on arrival, without specifying which countries.
Delta Air Lines Inc said on Sunday it was suspending until May flights to Milan in northern Italy, where most of that country’s coronavirus cases have been reported. Flights will continue to Rome. American Airlines Group Inc announced a similar move late on Saturday.
Democrats, who will challenge Trump for the presidency in November, have criticized his administration for downplaying the crisis and not preparing for the disease to spread in the United States.
Coronavirus spread in New York City is ‘inevitable’ and something you ‘can’t control’ claims Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that community spread is ‘inevitable’ on Monday as New York City’s first case of the coronavirus was confirmed.
‘There is no doubt that there will be more cases. This is New York, we’re a gateway to the world,’ Cuomo told reporters.
‘People are going to test positive, not just one or two or three or five, there will be many who test positive,’ he added.
Cuomo said the 39-year-old female healthworker who tested positive at the weekend had mild symptoms and was recovering at home.
He added that the Manhattan resident had been ‘very aware of her situation’ and had taken a private car to her home from the airport last Tuesday.
‘She did textbook everything right. We don’t believe she was contagious on the airplane or in the car,’ he said.
Cuomo added that she was isolated at home with her husband who is also expected to test positive for coronavirus.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that community spread is ‘inevitable’ on Monday as he and Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to increase testing in the city to up to a thousand people a day by next week
The couple had contacted Mount Sinai on their return to New York aware of the threat that they may have contracted the virus and were tested.
‘The positive test was confirmed by New York’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany, underscoring the importance of the ability for our state to ensure efficient and rapid turnaround,’ Cuomo said.
Cuomo, alongside Mayor Bill DeBlasio, said on Monday they will aim to increase testing in the city to up to a thousand people a day by next week as they look to isolate cases in the ‘inevitable’ community spread that will hit the city.
While Cuomo said New York’s first case was not itself a cause for broader concern, he announced $40 million to contain the spread of the virus.
He said the city was used to dealing with health crises, citing Ebola and SARS, and said residents should not worry.
“In this situation the facts defeat fear because the reality is reassuring,” Cuomo added.
His news conference came shortly after Trump announced on Twitter that he would meet with leading pharmaceutical companies at the White House on Monday “about progress on a vaccine and cure.”
Panic buying hits New York City as anxious shoppers stock up on food and medical supplies
Panic buying has hit New York with anxious shoppers clearing supermarket shelves as they stock up on food and medical supplies after a woman became the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case.
People started stockpiling items from stores over the weekend as authorities confirmed on Sunday that a healthcare worker in her 30s had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
The spread of the disease, which began in China and has seen more than 89,000 cases worldwide and over 3,000 fatalities, prompted panic-buying ever since health authorities warned that Americans should start preparing for domestic acceleration of the virus.
Videos emerged on social media over the weekend of shoppers rushing to stock up on toilet paper, bottled water, disinfectant wipes and sanitizer at a Costco in Brooklyn.
Shoppers were pictured lining up outside supermarkets on Monday morning.
Shoppers at Costco in Brooklyn panic buy water, tissues and cleaning products after New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus+21
The number of Americans diagnosed with the virus has hit 77 over the weekend, but has now climbed to 86
Supermarket shelves are starting to be emptied as people prepare for the spread of coronavirus in New York. Pictured are shoppers on Sunday+21
In one social media video shoppers were seen stocking up on food at a Costco store in Flushing, Queens, on Sunday
Supplies have been flying off the shelves countrywide with people posting photos on social media showing the lack of products available in some stores and pharmacies.
In southern California, some Walgreens stores had been completely depleted of cough medicines, cold and flue medications, vaporizers, masks and thermometers. Shoppers in Hawaii were buying up flatbeds of canned goods, bottled water, toilet paper and paper towels from a local Costo.
A supermarket aisle in Virginia had been stripped of non-perishable items like pasta.
Pictures of empty shelves at grocery stores elsewhere in New York also emerged on the weekend.
Panic buying in the United States does not yet resembles what Italy witnessed in recent days – where supermarket shelves were stripped bare and videos posted on social media showed consumers coming to blows over bags of pasta.
Worried families blast Washington nursing home where one man has died from coronavirus and 50 more are ill for ‘not testing patients and ignoring phone calls’
One distraught woman, Bonnie Holstad (above) has come forward blasting Life Care Center’s handling of the outbreak, telling how she has been kept in the dark over her husband’s condition and treatment at the home
The Washington state nursing home where the second US man to die from coronavirus was a resident has been slammed by worried families who claim they are not being kept informed about the conditions of their loved ones.
Six coronavirus cases have been confirmed at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, including one resident in his 70s who later died at hospital, while more than 50 staff and residents have shown symptoms and will be tested.
It has also emerged that the facility has been slammed for failing to control the spread of viruses in the past.
One distraught woman has come forward blasting the facility’s handling of the outbreak, telling how she has been kept in the dark over her husband’s condition and treatment at the home.
Bonnie Holstad said her husband Ken was staying at the facility after a fall caused by a broken hip but staff were refusing to speak to her about his condition.
She says her calls to the center have gone repeatedly unanswered as she is desperate for news that he is okay after he had a cough. He also suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Holstad stood outside the facility on Sunday with a sign saying: ‘No one at Life Care is answering the phones. He needs to be attended to … what is his temperature?’
The Life Care facility provides 24-hour care for residents, including physician and nurse coverage, many of whom have long-term and chronic conditions.
Around 27 of the 108 residents and 25 of the 180 staff have shown some symptoms of the virus, including some cases where individuals had contracted pneumonia.
On Sunday, four new cases were confirmed, including the deceased male, taking the infection rate at the facility to six and counting.
Medics and other healthcare workers transfer a patient on a stretcher to an ambulance at the home on Sunday
An employee walks outside Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington state, Sunday. Concerns are mounting after officials announced that a second person in the US died from coronavirus. The man in his 70s with underlying health conditions was a resident at the Life Care Center in Kirkland
The man in his 70s with underlying health conditions died at the EvergreenHealth hospital in Kirkland on Saturday.
This is the same hospital where a man in his 50s died on Friday night – the US’s first coronavirus-related death.
Holstad told CNN that after she protested, a nurse did then check on him and told her he doesn’t have a fever.
‘I was so angry. How can this be that I have to do this, make a sign and go down there?’ Holstad said.
‘I’m very worried for my husband,’ Holstad said. ‘He’s one of the vulnerable people,’ because of his age and his Parkinson’s disease.
‘I have real problems with how they’re handling the interface with family,’ she said, remarking it was ‘sort of like a movie about an epidemic in a little town, and they don’t know how to handle the situation.’
Holstad told how she only found out about the potential outbreak in the home when she arrived for a visit on Saturday and was turned away by a sign on the door saying no visitors allowed.
She then got a message from the center telling her about the confirmed cases.
Before then she had been told staff were wearing masks because some residents had colds.
Holstad also said her husband had not been tested for coronavirus because he doesn’t have all of the symptoms required for testing.