U.S. Officials Battle Coronavirus on Multiple Health Care, Economic Fronts Even as Death Toll Reaches Nine


The coronavirus death toll in the United States hit nine on Tuesday, even as more areas around the world report infections.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is putting out new rules that anyone can be forced to be tested for the coronavirus, per a doctor’s orders, Vice President Mike Pence said, ABC News reported.

Washington State reported new deaths on Tuesday, The Washington Post said. State health authorities confirmed 27 cases, including the nine deaths, one of them having occurred last week.

The virus has spread to the East Coast. New York State reported the second case there, a 50-year-old man in Westchester County.

Confirmed cases in South Korea topped 5,000. About 70 countries reported cases Tuesday, with the number of cases in the U.S. hitting 100 across 15 states.

One case in New York is a health care worker who returned from Iran, is “pretty healthy” and is in her 30s, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Fox News. The other case is “more worrisome,” an older man with pre-existing conditions.

Atlanta has two confirmed cases — a 56-year-old father and 15-year-old son who had traveled to Italy, WSB-TV said.

North Carolina reported its first case, in Wake County, on Tuesday, WTVD said.

At least one person was being tested for the virus in Travis County, Texas, KVUE said.

Even as federal, state and local governments brace themselves for the spreading infection, President Donald Trump is addressing the issue.

Trump announced he was donating the entirety of his presidential paycheck this quarter $100,000 — to combat the virus. He made a check payable to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The CDC provides a running list of reported cases and deaths of coronavirus in the U.S. here, but acknowledges the data is always half a day behind.

This includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases reported to CDC. It does not include people who returned to the U.S. via State Department-chartered flights.

The University of Chicago Medical Center was working with a person suspected of being the fifth case in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune said.

Even as elected officials and health care workers continue to grapple with the growing number of cases, economic leaders are taking action.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday cut its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to a range of 1% to 1.25% to combat a potential recession from the outbreak, the BBC said. The G7 finance ministers had pledged to take action.

Dr. Tom Frieden, ex-director of the CDC, said that children may secretly carrying the virus, the New York Post reported.

“We think it will be very difficult if not impossible to contain it … but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters.

He cited a report of a 10-year-old boy who visited the outbreak’s epicenter in China and didn’t show any symptoms of the virus. But when the boy’s parents insisted doctors test him, he was diagnosed with the virus, according to the Lancet medical journal.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.





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