President Trump on Saturday misidentified the nation’s first COVID-19 coronavirus fatality as a “wonderful woman” on Saturday — but the victim was actually a man who became ill while in a long-term care facility in Kirkland, Washington, officials said.
The patient, who died overnight Friday, was a man with “an underlying health condition,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, a public health officer for Seattle and King County, told reporters.
Trump, at a press conference at the White House, described the victim was “a medically high-risk patient in her late 50s,” adding that she was “a wonderful woman.”
— Riley Michel (@rileymichel) February 29, 2020
The state’s governor had earlier identified the person as a man in a press release.
The deceased patient may be part of an outbreak centered at the facility, where at least one additional patient, a woman, and a health care worker have also tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We’re in the beginning stages of our investigation” into a potential outbreak, he said.
Separately, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency over coronavirus. “This will allow us to get the resources we need,” he said in a statement.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow blasted the president for misidentifying the “1st US coronavirus death.” She tweeted: “I admit to being stuck on the fact that the President just convened reporters to announce the 1st US coronavirus death, a man in his 50s in Washington State. The president said ‘She was a wonderful woman.’ This is ridiculous. Just stop. Stop talking. Let the scientists talk.”
I admit to being stuck on the fact that the President just convened reporters to announce the 1st US coronavirus death, a man in his 50s in Washington State.
The president said "She was a wonderful woman."
This is ridiculous.
Just stop. Stop talking. Let the scientists talk.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) February 29, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, Washington, said during a CDC press briefing on Saturday that the Washington patient who died from the novel coronavirus was a man in his 50s.
Earlier today at the WH, POTUS said the patient was a woman.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 29, 2020
And here’s the CDC Director on the record about the President, VP & Azar erroneously identifying the first coronavirus fatality as a woman https://t.co/y5IyxlTrsc
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) February 29, 2020
Trump today praised the "wonderful woman" who was the first US victim of #coronavirus.
The CDC briefed reporters just now that the victim was actually a male.
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) February 29, 2020