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Trump addresses coronavirus threat as first US death confirmed

Trump's appearance comes after health officials disclosed a second seemingly isolated US case of COVID-19 and the first confirmed U.S. death.
President Donald Trump, with members of the President's Coronavirus Task Force, holds a paper about countries best and least prepared to deal with a pandemic, during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP/TEGNA) — President Donald Trump addressed the nation Saturday regarding the coronavirus threat.

Trump's appearance comes after health officials disclosed a second case of coronavirus in the U.S. in someone who had not traveled internationally or had close contact with someone who has the virus.

Officials in Washington state say a person has died of COVID-19, the first such death in the United States.

The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family and is a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.

The patient who died was a man in his 50s with underlying conditions, Washington state health officials confirmed Saturday afternoon.

President Donald Trump addressed the death in Saturday's press conference saying of the patient that she was, "a wonderful woman, a medically high-risk patient in her 50s."

However, Seattle and King County Public Health Officer Jeffrey Duchin confirmed during a press phone call lead by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the patient who died was a man, not a woman as the president had said earlier.

On Twitter, CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said the agency "erroneously identified the patient as a female" in a briefing with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

During his news conference, Trump said that "the White House coronavirus taskforce" met for two hours Saturday, and both he and Pence attended that meeting.

Vice President Pence said a travel ban will be placed on Iran, which will include blocking any foreign national that has traveled to Iran within the last 14 days from traveling to the U.S.

Pence said the the U.S. government is urging Americans not to travel to areas of Italy and South Korea worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The vice president also said they have been working with 3M to boost production of face masks.

Trump addressed the nation about the coronavirus from the White House earlier this week.

It can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

The outbreak began in China but has infected tens of thousands of people in more than three dozen countries, with the vast majority in mainland China.

The U.S. is banning travel to Iran in response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. And it's elevating travel warnings to regions of Italy and South Korea.

President Donald Trump said 22 people in the U.S. have been stricken by the new coronavirus and more cases in the United States are “likely.” Trump is providing an update on the virus after the first reported U.S. death Saturday. He described the victim as a woman in her late 50s who was a high medical risk. He said healthy Americans should be able to recover if they contract the new virus.