COVID-19: 1 year later

A year ago Thursday, the first U.S. patient was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Seattle.
4:05 | 01/22/21

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Transcript for COVID-19: 1 year later
It was one year ago today that the US recorded our first corona virus case the patient was a man who had traveled from Wuhan China to his home in Seattle. Since then we've had 25 million cases in this country and 405000. American lives lost. I can whitworth was there in Seattle in the first patient was diagnosed and she joins us live now. With more high Cano what was it like to be on the ground there's this is all unfolding and that virus was brand new. I have to tell you Diane AI mean it feels like a lifetime ago. That that happened and I remember my producer Jenna Harris and I we got on the ground. And we went running right away and as health care team there in Seattle. They were prepared right they have this one patient and they were prepared to handle this one not patient they went to his house. They picked him up in a specialized vehicle one that they would used to transport somebody that had say Ebola. Brought into the hospital put him in its bio containment unit that they had in the hospital. They had one of those and this single patient had the care of for specialized nurses are round the clock. They were using a robot to help treat this patient. It was really unbelievable and this was a patient who. The doctors there told me if it wasn't crown a virus he could be at home right now using Tylenol that he would be relatively OK and one thing that. When I went back fan I was looking through my notes in my emails our coverage there. This release it that's mean we were waiting for the World Health Organization. To declare this a global health emergency and they didn't do that while I was there this time last year that didn't happen until some twenty days later. And they were telling us that they had a team on the ground. They say that we have stressed that by having had a team on the ground and move on to be clear that they. That by having a strong action it not only will they control the outbreak in their country. But they will also minimize the chances of this outbreak is spreading internationally. I mean it's unbelievable for me to read that and to know Diane that at that time. It was already spreading throughout our community is threatening the lives of millions. Of Americans. And now hearing our 400000 Americans lives lost. And counting now and doctor Jorge Diaz of Providence medical center in Seattle he treated. That first patient and Kate I know that you spoke with doctor Diaz last year. What struck you most about him then a and hearing him now. Clean he had a lot of confidence at the time and because they have the ability to treat this one patient. They feel like they really had control over this situation. I'm and I'm looking back through again some of our conversations and one thing that I spoke with doctor Diaz about. Was the screenings and they were doing at the airports if you remember. They were funneling anybody traveling from that region into the United States through five different airports and they were doing temperature tests on all of those people and I asked him. You know how effective do you think those screenings aren't his response and you have it here was. I will when someone develops symptoms and are likely the most likely contagious win their symptomatic. He said those screenings will be very affected a very effective way of deterrent determining. Who is really at risk of having an effect infection and who is really at risk of spreading it. I also spoke with the the county health. Officers apparent Seattle Diane and he told me and I homily think it's inevitable that additional cases might find their way. Into this country I mean and insist it's so hard to look back. And think about. The confidence. That they had and and perhaps we were just all really night about it I on tenacity dance I wonder was I asking the right questions was I holding our health officials accountable. At the time I question that about myself while at times. I think we're all in a position and thinking you know when you think back a year ago if only we knew then. What we know now but of course there was no way to do that and all we can do now is learn from what we have learned in the past year. And try to move forward in the best way we can both says journalists and of course our leadership in this country. Qaeda where we're thank you as always.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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