First U.S. Case of 'Unknown Origin' COVID-19 Identified
President Trump taps Vice President Pence to head coronavirus response
THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. response to a potential global pandemic of COVID-19, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday evening.
The move came amid growing political pressure on his administration to take a more energized response to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 82,000 people in 37 countries and killed nearly 3,000.
The situation within the United States may have gained new urgency as well: Shortly after the news briefing, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first case of COVID-19 within the United States in a person who "did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19." The case, occurring in California, "could be an instance of community spread," the CDC said in a statement.
The patient was brought to the University of California, Davis, Medical Center from another hospital on Feb. 19, the Associated Press reported. The patient was on ventilator support upon arrival. UC Davis has treated other coronavirus patients, so additional safety measures were already in place. The hospital immediately asked the CDC to test the patient for coronavirus, the AP said. Because the patient did not meet the full criteria for testing, the test was not performed until last Sunday, the wire service reported. The results came back positive on Wednesday. There have now been 60 coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States.