An American patient who died with the CCP virus on Feb. 6, according to newly received autopsy results, over three weeks before the first COVID-19-linked death in the United States was previously known to have occurred.
COVID-19 is a new disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the first death linked to COVID-19 in the United States took place on Feb. 28. That patient resided in Kirkland, Washington state.
But autopsies done by the medical examiner in Santa Clara County, California, show two patients who died earlier in February tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the technical name for the CCP virus.
One of the patients died on Feb. 6 while the other passed away on Feb. 17. Both died at home.
Tissue samples from the patients were confirmed by the CDC as testing positive for the CCP virus, according to Santa Clara County’s medical examiner-coroner’s office. A third patient who died in the county on March 6 also tested positive.
“These three individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC. Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms,” the office said in a statement.
“As the medical examiner-coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified.”
The CDC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Washington state officials announced Feb. 29 the first known death attributed to COVID-19 in the nation, describing the patient as a man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions.
The male patient died at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle that saw an explosion of virus cases in late February and early March. The death and discovery of a number of patients prompted Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.
The CCP virus originated in Wuhan, China last year before spreading around the world. Chinese Communist Party officials have continually manipulated figures related to the outbreak, hid information about the origin of the virus, and promoted conspiracy theories accusing other countries of wrongdoing, according to internal documents obtained by The Epoch Times and public statements.
The United States has over 825,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 22, according to Johns Hopkins University, along with over 45,000 deaths.
Eva Fu contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the California patients died from COVID-19. The patients died with the disease. The Epoch Times regrets the error.