Pence brushes off president misidentifying the sex of the first U.S. ...

Mike Pence took a different approach than the president while speaking on coronavirus in an interview that aired Sunday, not attempting to downplay the threat the virus poses to Americans.

The vice president told CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning that there will be more cases and that 'it is possible' there will be more deaths.

The comments come after a 'medically high-risk' man in his 50s in Washington state became the first person in the U.S. to die from coronavirus overnight Friday.

Donald , however, has attempted to downplay the threat, boasting during his rally Friday in South Carolina that there were only 15 cases in the U.S. – when there are actually more than 70 confirmed cases in the country.

Also during a press conference at the White House Saturday, misidentified the first victim in the U.S. to die after contracting the virus as a woman, when it was actually a man.

Pence brushed off this mishap after it came out that the Centers for Disease Control mistakenly told the president the wrong sex of the individual.

CNN host Jake Tapper pointed out that the confusion over the sex of the individual wasn't instilling confidence in the public over the communication between the federal agency and the White House.

'It was just a miscommunication,' Pence said. 'It doesn't lessen the tragedy at all.'

Vice President Mike Pence admitted that there could be more U.S. coronavirus deaths, departing from the president's insistence in downplaying the threat. The comments came after a 'medically high-risk' man in his 50s had become the first person in the U.S. to die from coronavirus

Vice President Mike Pence admitted that there could be more U.S. coronavirus deaths, departing from the president's insistence in downplaying the threat. The comments came after a 'medically high-risk' man in his 50s had become the first person in the U.S. to die from coronavirus

Pence also brushed off during his interview with CNN that aired Sunday morning that the president misidentifying the victim as female when he was actually male was 'just a miscommunication' between the CDC and White House

Pence also brushed off during his interview with CNN that aired Sunday morning that the president misidentifying the victim as female when he was actually male was 'just a miscommunication' between the CDC and White House

Pence's comments come as two further cases were confirmed late Saturday night, making the total number of Americans diagnosed with the virus 71 and counting

Pence's comments come as two further cases were confirmed late Saturday night, making the total number of Americans diagnosed with the virus 71 and counting

Pence's comments that there could be more fatalities come as fears are mounting for 50 staff and residents at a nursing facility located just two miles from the deceased male after they have shown coronavirus symptoms, while urged the public not to panic and two new cases – one in Illinois and another in Santa Clara, California – were confirmed Saturday night.

Australia also confirmed its first death from coronavirus on Saturday.

The 78-year-old male victim contracted the virus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where 44 American passengers also contracted the disease and were repatriated to the US.

'We know there will be more cases,' Pence said in the pre-recorded interview.

When pressed by Tapper if this means there will be more deaths, Pence – who was this week handed the job of leading the U.S. task force to tackle the disease – admitted: 'It is possible.'

He restated the president's point that healthy individuals will likely recover from the disease.

'The reality that Doctor Fauci (the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) and others explained to me since I took on these duties a few days ago is that for most people that contract the coronavirus they will recover,' he said. 

'They will deal with a a respiratory illness, we'll get them treatment.'

However, he conceded that for Americans that have pre-existing health conditions, there could be 'sad news'.

'For people who have other conditions that would militate towards a worse outcome,' the Vice President said.

'We could have more sad news. But the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low.'

Pence's comments come as two further cases were confirmed late Saturday night, making the total number of Americans diagnosed with the virus 71 and counting.  

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department confirmed its fourth case is an adult woman who lives with the woman who was confirmed to be a case on Friday and who sent shockwaves for becoming the US's second 'unknown origin' case.

The fourth case does not have symptoms and has not been hospitalized, officials said. 

Officials in Illinois then confirmed the state's third case, which is being treated as another 'unknown origin' case. 

Fears are now mounting for 50 staff and residents at a nursing facility in Washington state as they are now showing symptoms of the virus, after two individuals - a resident and an employee at the care home - have already been diagnosed with the infection.

Fifty-two staff and residents of the nursing facility where two new coronavirus cases have been confirmed are now showing symptoms of the disease, health officials said during a teleconference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington state, around 27 of the 108 residents and 25 of the 180 staff have some symptoms, including some cases where individuals have contracted pneumonia.

The CDC and local health officials are reportedly sending an emergency response team to the Life Care facility on Sunday to try to control the escalating situation. 

This comes as a 'medically high-risk' man in his 50s became the first person in the US to die from coronavirus overnight Friday near Seattle, Washington state. 

Healthcare workers are pictured transporting a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland in Kirkland, Washington on Saturday

Healthcare workers are pictured transporting a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland in Kirkland, Washington on Saturday

The man in Washington state became the first in the U.S. to die of coronavirus, and now more than 50 staff and residents of the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, are now also showing symptoms of the disease

The man in Washington state became the first in the U.S. to die of coronavirus, and now more than 50 staff and residents of the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, are now also showing symptoms of the disease

The unnamed man died in a hospital just two miles from the nursing facility where concerns of a mass outbreak are mounting, but officials are maintaining the cases are unconnected.  

President sought to quell widespread panic in a press conference on Saturday where he expressed condolences to the family of the patient who died and told people to remain calm - before he made a gaffe by wrongly saying the deceased person was a woman.  

The possible outbreak in the nursing facility comes as it emerged that two new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state are linked to the home. 

At a Saturday press conference, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Seattle and King County, confirmed that one of the confirmed cases was a woman in her 40s who works at the facility, who is in satisfactory condition. 

Another was a female resident of Life Care in her 70s, who is in serious condition. 

The first person to die of coronavirus in the US died in EvergreenHealth hospital just two miles from the Life Care nursing facility where concerns of a mass outbreak are mounting, but officials are maintaining the cases are unconnected

Neither had a recent history of travel, suggesting these are additional cases of community spread.  

'We are very concerned about an outbreak in a setting where there are many older people, as we would be wherever people who are susceptible might be gathering,' said Duchin. 

'We're going to send a team into the facility tomorrow to do an assessment.' 

A team of CDC workers from Atlanta are on route to the facility in efforts to control the outbreak. 

Duchin added that older adults and people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart or lung disease should be especially careful to protect themselves by washing their hands, not touching their faces, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.  

The Life Care facility provides 24-hour care for residents, including physician and nurse coverage, many of whom have long-term and chronic conditions.

News of the potential outbreak in the facility is concerning given the higher danger of coronavirus being fatal to individuals who are less healthy or already have pre-existing conditions. 

A spokesperson for Life Care told DailyMail.com that the facility was not accepting any visitors or new admissions, and was monitoring all residents and associates for the virus.

They said the restricted access had only been put in place earlier that morning, the same day the two cases were confirmed and outbreak fears emerged.  

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Australians who lose job to coronavirus, forced to self isolate can get ...
NEXT Security team guarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stay in a £1,100-a-week ...