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Azar on misidentification of coronavirus death as a woman: ‘It’s a very fast-moving situation’

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday explained why President Trump erroneously said the first U.S. death from coronavirus had been a woman, telling CBS’s Margaret Brennan it was a “very fast-moving situation.”

“Our Centers for Disease Control were up late at night, very early in the morning, working with the Washington state public health office and inaccurately reported that the individual was a female. That’s what the president was briefed on. They’ve apologized for incorrectly briefing on that, but it’s a very fast-moving situation,” Azar said, adding, “We obviously regret the error.”

Azar said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “the risk to average Americans remains low. We’re working to keep it low. We will see more transmission of cases in the United States.”

“We will have more, and we will have more community cases. It’s simply a matter of math,” he added.

Azar also addressed claims from an HHS whistleblower who said agency workers met the first evacuees from China’s Wuhan province, the center of the outbreak, without proper training for infection control or appropriate protective gear.

“We are looking into these allegations. I’m personally involved in doing so,” he said. “We appreciate the whistleblower bringing forward any concerns … but what the American people need to know is we now have passed well over 14 days since any HHS employees had contact with the individuals involved. No one is symptomatic. No one has the disease,” he said.

“We have offered to test any HHS employees involved if they would like that extra peace of mind,” he added.

Tags Donald Trump

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