Illinois reports first known COVID-19-related infant death in US


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) confirmed Saturday that an infant in the state has died due to coronavirus.

This is the first known infant death related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., according to a report from The New York Times

“I know how difficult this news can be, especially about this very young child. Upon hearing it, I admit, I was immediately shaken, and it’s appropriate for any of us to grieve today,” Pritzker told reporters Saturday.

“It’s especially sorrowful for the family of this very small child for the years stolen from this infant. We should grieve. We should grieve with our family of state employees. With the many people who we’ve already lost to this virus, young and old. We should grieve for the loss of a sense of normalcy that we left behind just a few weeks ago. It’s okay, today, to grieve.

The Illinois governor also said that the virus is “rarely fatal” among children. He told reporters that a state employee at the Illinois Department of Human Services was also among those dead from the virus Saturday. 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that there has “never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant” in a Saturday statement.

“A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” Ezike said. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us,” the official continued.

However, a child under a year old in China died from coronavirus, CNN reported. That child had a pre-existing condition. 

A 2-month-old child in Nashville, Tenn., tested positive for coronavirus this week. Florida health officials confirmed Tuesday that a baby boy who is under 1 year old was also confirmed to be infected with the virus.

Pritzker has previously clashed with President Trump amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump lashed out at Pritzker and other governors who have criticized the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Twitter earlier Sunday. Pritzker later hit back, tweeting at the president to “Get off Twitter & do your job.”

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Illinois J.B. Pritzker

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