California on Wednesday reported its first death from the coronavirus.
The fatality in California’s Placer County and the first outside of Washington state brings the nation’s total to 11.
Placer County health official Dr. Aimee Sisson.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) PLACER COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIAL DR. AIMEE SISSON, SAYING:
“The deceased was a passenger on a Princess Cruise from San Francisco to Mexico on February 11 to February 21. At least one other passenger on the same cruise ship, from another county, tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. The CDC and Princess Cruises are working to notify all passengers of their possible exposure. At this time, out of an abundance of precaution, Placer County public health is requesting passengers who were local passengers on this voyage to voluntarily self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms.”
There are 129 confirmed and presumed cases across the U.S.
Los Angeles declared a health emergency with six new coronavirus cases reported there.
L.A. County now has seven cases of the coronavirus – also known as COVID-19 - but a public health official said all can be traced back to a known source.
In New York, a Westchester county man whose infection has not yet been tracked to its source has infected others.
New York Governor Mario Cuomo said Wednesday that four people close to him now have the illness.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO:
"His wife has also tested positive, his 20-year-old son has also tested positive, his daughter has tested positive and his neighbor who drove him to the hospital also tested positive."
The New York college the son attends and the Bronx school attended by the 14-year-old daughter have been shut as a precaution.
Meanwhile, President Trump met with airline officials who said they have stepped up their cleaning procedures and tried to calm fears about air travel.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:
“I think where these people are flying [motioning to executives] it’s safe to fly. Yes, it’s safe, absolutely.”
Trump should soon be able to sign into law a bipartisan agreement on an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to help contain the coronavirus and its economic fallout.
Also on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told a congressional committee that the NIH is just six weeks away from a Phase 1 trial for a vaccine.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI:
"Which as a matter of fact will be the fastest that anyone ever has gone from the identification of a sequence into a Phase 1 trial of any vaccine that's ever been done."
But the process slows significantly from there.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) NIH DIRECTOR DR. ANTHONY FAUCI:
"The sobering news is that since vaccines are given to normal individuals, what is paramount is safety and whether or not it works. The Phase 1 trial is 45 individuals, Phase 2 trials are hundreds if not a couple of thousand individuals. It would take then about a year to a year-and-a half to be fully confident that we would have a vaccine that would be able to protect the American people."
Finally, those looking for a bit of escapism with the much-anticipated release of the new James Bond film "No Time to Die" will have to wait a bit longer - the film's global premiere date of April has been pushed to November on fears that movie theaters in key markets could be closed in an effort to stem the virus.