US ramps up virus response, second death reported


Health officials have reported the second death from the coronavirus in the United States.

Late on Sunday (March 1), Washington state reported a man had died in Seattle.

They say he was in his 70s and had underlying health conditions.

On Sunday (March 1) Washington also reported three new cases.

They - and the man who died- were all residents of a nursing facility that had previously reported two further cases.

Washington was where the U.S. also recorded its first domestic death from the virus on Saturday (February 29).

On the other side of the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state's first case on Sunday (March 1).

He says a woman in her 30s who contracted the disease on a recent trip to Iran.

Cuomo did not say where she lived, but the New York Times cited unnamed officials who told them the woman was in New York City.

Sunday's new cases bring the total coronavirus count in the U.S. to over 70.

Meanwhile the Trump administration scrambled to reassure Americans and calm fears in the markets that the virus could spark a recession.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar appeared on CBS' Face the Nation and said the country is well prepared.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) ALEX AZAR SEC. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SAYING:

"In terms of testing kits, we've already tested over 3,600 people for the virus. We now have the capability in the field to test 75,000 people, and within the next week or two we'll have a radical expansion even beyond that."

Democrats have continued to criticize the Trump administration for downplaying the crisis.

But Vice President Mike Pence told NBC's Meet the Press that the government has been doing quote, "everything possible" to prevent the virus from spreading.