One Year Ago Today, the U.S. Recorded its First Case of the Coronavirus

By Jesse Sokolow on 21 January 2021
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One year ago today, we ran a story with the headline, “Officials Confirm First Case of Coronavirus in U.S.”

The story stated that health officials had confirmed that a man in Washington State was the first case of the mysterious coronavirus in the United States.

It went on to say that the disease – it didn’t have a name at that point – had begun to appear in Wuhan, China, in the prior month and killed six people and sickened hundreds.

The virus began to spread slowly. The figures from a year ago, looking back from today, seem almost impossible: In the first five weeks after the virus was detected in the United States, there were 45 cases and no known deaths.  By comparison, in the most recent five weeks, there have been 7.4 million new infections and almost 100,000 deaths.

As of today, almost 98 million people across the globe have been infected and over two million have died from what is now known as Covid-19.

In the United States, over 25 million people have become infected and the virus has resulted in the death of over 416,000 individuals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Infection expressed concern over the new virus.

“We are concerned any time there is a new virus or a new pathogen emerging in a population that hasn’t seen it before,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who added that, because the virus was new, the population wouldn’t have any existing immunity and “we don’t have any specific treatment or vaccines.”

Its comments that day did not seem to foreshadow what was to come.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China,” the agency said quietly.

Meanwhile, the Seattle area became the country’s first epicenter and the state of Washington recorded 37 of the country’s first fifty deaths from the virus.

While attention was focused on the Pacific Northwest, an entirely different strain was entering the United States on the East Coast, brought back by travelers coming in from Europe unrelated to Seattle’s patient zero.

Experts believe a pandemic was inevitable, but the failure of the Trump Administration to act properly greatly exacerbated the situation.Having watched Asian and European countries struggle against the pandemic, the United States was slow to ramp up testing and order its residents to stay at home, among other failures that include ensuring sufficient personal protective equipment, ventilators, and intensive care unit beds.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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