- West Virginia Gov. Justice orders bars & restaurants closed after reporting 1st case of coronavirus
- Fed reportedly plans to throw vital lifeline to Commercial Paper market
- NYPD officer tests positive
- 30 NYPD officers test positive
- US death toll hits 100
- Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US pass 5k
- EU leaders close borders to non-EU citizens
- Saudi Arabia orders private sector workers to stay home for 15 days
- Trump admin promises to stop all migrants attempting to illegally cross US border
- Merkel says 'joint debt options' discussed by EU leaders
- NJ Gov says "Shelter In Place" order "certainly an option"
- WH planning $850 billion economic rescue package
- 2nd rescue package still stalled over Senates' 'minor' changes
- Cuomo reports 432 new cases, bringing state total over 1,000 and retaking No. 1 spot
- Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis closes all bars and nightclubs
- Trump doubles down on "Chinese virus" phrasing after Beijing complains
- Several students at Vanderbilt University have tested positive
- Kentucky Derby postponed until September
- UK announces £330 billion rescue package, strengthens police powers
- Goldman says "world is in a recession"
- Luxembourg declares 'state of emergency'
- Army will provide 5 million respirator masks & other equipment to states
- Mick Mulvaney self-isolating in SC after niece had contact with Brazilian official
- EU eases rules, allows some state aid to companies
- Gov Pritzker confirms 1st death in Illinois, confirmed cases hit 22
- Italy extends short-selling ban for 90 days
- France says deficit will blow out to 3.9%
- Lindsey Graham opposes "$1,000 per person" plan
- Esper says 2 Navy hospitals can help with response, but building ad hoc hospitals 'probably best left up to the states'
- NYC Mayor says "absolutely considering" shelter-in-place order
- Kevin Durant one of 4 Nets players to test positive: Other might be Kyrie Irving
- De Blasio says 'no clusters in New York'
- Amazon stops shipments of "non-essential" goods to warehouses
- Moscow denies reports of citywide quarantine
- Turkey jails 19 over 'provocative' social media posts
- Spain turns away 500 cars after setting up border checkpoints
- Pakistan reports first death
- S&P warns "sudden economic stop" will trigger deep recession
- Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson leave quarantine
- Poland says minister has caught the virus
- 8 US banks access discount window
- Trump slams Michigan's Democratic Gov.
* * *
Update (2050ET): The New York Post reports that an NYPD officer from the city's 1st Precinct (located on the East Side of Lower Manhattan) has tested positive for the virus, and another 30 officers have called out sick (17 of whom have displayed flu-like symptoms).
Rumors on Twitter claimed that all 31 officers had tested positive.
* * *
Update (1900ET): The novel coronavirus has finally made it to all 50 states.
West Virginia reported its first confirmed case of the virus Tuesday evening, shortly after the death toll in the US climbed to 101, passing 100 in a grim new milestone. All of the deaths caused by the virus in the US have happened over the past three weeks.
"Our health officials came to me and said we do have our first positive in the Eastern panhandle," said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice during a news conference, announcing that he is closing bars and restaurants in the Mountain State. "We knew it was coming, we’ve prepared for this and we shouldn’t panic."
Alabama, Idaho, Montana and West Virginia were the last three states to report cases of the virus.
This news came as the total cases in the US passed 5,600 on Tuesday as testing capabilities expand rapidly nationwide.
In other news, the Trump administration plans to immediately turn back all asylum seekers and other foreigners attempting to enter the US from Mexico illegally, saying the nation cannot risk allowing the coronavirus to spread through detention facilities and infecting border patrol agents.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia took perhaps the most drastic step among its neighbors in the Middle East and ordered all private sector workers to stay home for 15 days. The kingdom has already barred foreigners and cancelled Muslim pilgrimages.
* * *
Update (1740ET): The identity of one of the four Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive earlier has been confirmed, and it's star shooting forward Kevin Durant. And there are rumors on twitter that Durant's teammate point guard Kyrie Irving might be the other one.
"Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We're going to get through this," Durant told an SI reporter.
* * *
Update (1720ET): UK PM Boris Johnson took a step toward quarantines and away from his more laizzes faire approach to combating the virus earlier as he passed a massive fiscal stimulus package to combat the virus.
Offering some insight into the reasoning behind that decision: Government estimates suggest there's already 50,000 cases in the UK, far more than the roughly 2,000 cases confirmed by the government.
The UK has also reported 55 deaths.
* * *
Update (1700ET): Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters during a Tuesday afternoon press conference that the military would distribute more than 5 million respirators and other essential pieces of medical equipment, and an additional 2,000 special ventilators, to hospitals around the country, according to WSJ.
Esper added that the Pentagon would open up as many as 16 labs to test civilians for the virus and potentially call up more members of the National Guard and Reserve.
"When you look at the numbers of people that are projected that may need ventilators, 2,000 doesn’t put much of a dent in it but we can offer what we have,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Pentagon made an alarming announcement when it said 52 employees had tested positive for the virus.
Additionally, the USNS Comfort and its sister ship, the USNS Mercy, the two Navy hospital ships mentioned below, are being readied to b e sent to 'hot spots' in the US and around the country if the number of coronavirus cases begins to overwhelm local hospitals. Fortunately no requests for assistance have yet been made, Esper said.
Additionally, as the debate over NYC's 'shelter in place' order rages, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy said a "shelter in place" order was also an option for NJ.
"Everything is on the table," he said during an interview on CNBC. Watch the clip below:
* * *
Update (1630ET): As we warned ahead of time, banning short-selling risks sparking a vicious cycle: it might help stoke some temporary gains, but the minute the man is withdrawn, all that market pain will come rushing back, after the process of natural 'price discovery' suddenly kicks back in.
After Italian markets regulator Consob first banned short-selling in 85 stocks on Friday, then announced plans for a 24-hour ban on Monday, the regular has just revealed that it plans to expand that ban for 90 days.
Traders better hope Trump doesn't get any ideas...
In other news, several students from Tennessee have tested positive.
* * *
Update (1615ET): The number of Americans who have died from Covid-19 has passed 100, with 50 deaths reported in Washington State alone, many of which were tied to a nursing home in Kirkland. A handful of new deaths in Washington, California and Florida reported new deaths.
The total number of confirmed cases in the US passed 5,000 late last night. At last count, that number had climbed to 5,853, according to Johns Hopkins.
* * *
Update (1555ET): Minutes after de Blasio finished today's NYC virus update, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker started his daily update for the people of Illinois with some disappointing news: Illinois has recorded its first Covid-19 related death.
The deceased was a woman in Chicago, who was in her 60s. Chicago was the center of a major controversy over the weekend and yesterday as returning citizens were subjected to waits as long as 12 hours to get screened before being allowed into the country. Pritzker added that the total confirmed cases in the state had climbed to 22 (up from 12 yesterday).
Across the state, 4 patients are out of isolation. Like New York, Illinois ventilator and respiratory supplies aren't prepared to deal with a pandemic.
The woman was hospitalized at the time of death, and had been hospitalized since symptoms first presented.
While the governor speaks in Springfield, over on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham is the first GOP Sen. to oppose Trump's "$1,000 for everybody" plan. Looks like Graham isn't down with the "#YangGang".
According to ESPN, four players on the Brooklyn Nets have tested positive.
* * *
Update (1544ET): During the remainder of his press conference, Mayor de Blasio insisted that there are "no clusters in New York City," but still insisted that a "shelter in place" order might still be necessary. When pressed about Gov. Cuomo's comments that there won't be a quarantine, de Blasio said that a 'shelter in place' order - at least how he envisions it - wouldn't be tantamount to a quarantine.
He also said the NYPD has issued more than five hundred citations for price gouging around the city for items like hand sanitizer.
After being pressed by a reporter, de Blasio said he had the authority to move ahead with a 'shelter in place' order unilaterally without the involvement of the governor. Apparently, Cuomo didn't like that, because shortly after, his office released the following statement: "Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require State action and as the Governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time."
* * *
Update (1525ET): Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that he would close all bars and nightclubs in the state, but - importantly - he would allow restaurants to remain open. All Florida bars and nightclubs must suspend operations for 30 days. The order includes closing the bar area within restaurants that have them.
Oh, and we hope those spring breakers are using lots of Purell, because DeSantis announced in a press conference this morning that four UF students have tested positive for COVID-19.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the Navy is readying its two hospital ships to help with the virus response, if needed. But in less welcome news, after President Trump said earlier that the White House was "looking into" mobilizing the Army Corp of Engineers, which would have the capacity to build emergency MASH units and help convert buildings into quarantine units and ad hoc hospitals, Esper said that mobilizing the Army Corp of Engineers probably wouldn't be practical and that kind of work "would probably be best left up to the states."
Perhaps Esper hasn't seen Gov. Cuomo's press conferences and tweets demanding federal help since, according to him, the state doesn't have the capacity.
* * *
Update (1440ET): In a dramatic turnaround, UK PM Boris Johnson has announced a massive economic rescue package and dramatic new draft law that strengthens police powers to quarantine, among other measures. The rescue package, worth £330 billion, rescue package.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the UK government will backstop £330bn in loans and earmark billions of pounds in spending as part of an emergency package to help struggling businesses cope with economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The UK Chancellor said on Tuesday evening it is "a time to be bold, a time for courage."
"I want to reassure every British citizen, this government will give you all the tools you need to get through this," he said. He also vowed that the British government would do "whatever it takes" to protect the economy.
The government-backed loans to support business are equivalent to 15% of UK GDP, according to the FT. On the main street side, huseholds will get a three month mortgage policy, he said, while the government will also deploy £20 billion of financial measures as part of the government's plan to protect the economy. Sunak said the government would launch a new lending facility with the BoE to provide low-cost, easily accessible commercial paper to support credit markets, like the US has done.
Italy has tightened restrictions on its national lockdown, which is already pretty strict considering that has toughened its self-certification rules for people leaving their houses during the coronavirus outbreak with the threat of up to 12 years imprisonment if they are judged to be recklessly spreading infection.
In Brussels, as we noted below, European leaders have reportedly decided to close the EU border to non-EU citizens, instructing federal police to stop non-citizens and non-residents at all border crossings, according to Der Spiegel.
The decision is a major reversal for Brussels, which has insisted that the closing of borders would not be necessary, and has reserved particular ire for restrictions within the Schengen Zone.
Merkel reportedly said that 'joint debt options' were discussed by EU leaders. Of course, as the Schengen area dissolves, the pressure on Merkel is intensifying. Because if she can't get the rapid acceleration of the virus inside Germany under control, it will greatly undermine her entire political philosophy by drawing uncomfortable scrutiny to the commitment to open borders.
During a March 13 press conference, Luca Zaia, the president of Italy's hard-hit Veneto region,pointed out that Europe's borderless zone was "disappearing as we speak." He noted that the stringent border controls imposed by Austria have shown that Schengen "no longer exists and will be remembered in the history books."
* * *
Update (1430ET): A lot of new stories have hit over the past hour, and here's a roundup: Mayor de Blasio has taken a step closer to announcing a full shutdown, saying that a "shelter in place" order is coming in the next 48 hours, despite Gov. Cuomo's earlier claim that there were no plans to quarantine NYC.
New Jersey cases have climbed 50% overnight to 169, from 178 yesterday, the Pentagon has announced that 47 employees have been infected with the virus.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has clarified that he doesn't actually expect government checks for everybody except millionaires to arrive within the next two weeks. British shoppers ignored please to stop panic buying as the government announced that UK confirmed coronavirus cases have risen 26% to 1,950 in past 24 hours.
De Blasio also confirmed that the number of virus-related deaths in the city has climbed to 7, up from 5 the day before.
In more sports news, Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi has tested positive, the second player on the team to do so.
- NYC MAYOR BANS RIDE-SHARING APPS LIKE UBER
- NYC MAYOR SAYS PREPARE FOR 'SHELTER IN PLACE' ORDER IN NEXT 48 HOURS
- NEW JERSEY NOW HAS 267 CORONAVIRUS CASES, UP 89 CASES FROM DAY BEFORE, AND 3 DEATHS - NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR
- NJ GOV REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS TO BUILD TEMPORARY HOSPITALS
- U.S. MEDIA: 47 PENTAGON EMPLOYEES INFECTED WITH CORONA VIRUS
- MNUCHIN DOESN'T EXPECT CHECKS BEFORE END OF APRIL: POLITICO
- UBER TO SUSPEND CARPOOLING SERVICE UBERPOOL IN LONDON AT 10 PM
- BRITISH SHOPPERS IGNORE PLEAS AND STEP-UP PANIC BUYING - INDUSTRY SOURCES
- BOE WIL BUY PAPER OF FIRMS CONTRIBUTING TO U.K. ECONOMY
- BOE FACILITY PROVIDES FINANCING BY BUYING COMMERCIAL PAPER
- NY SUSPENDS COLLECTION OF STUDENT & MEDICAL DEBT OWED TO STATE FOR 30 DAYS
- HILTON HOTELS REPORTS 15% OCCUPANCY
- FED'S KASHKARI: THIS CAN QUICKLY BECOME A RECESSION
- FED'S KASHKARI: THIS COULD BE A VERY LONG CRISIS WITH PROFOUND ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS.
- EU AGREES TO CLOSE EXTERNAL BORDERS TO NON EU CITIZENS - SPIEGEL
- MACY's TO CLOSE ALL STORES NATION WIDE
- JUVENTUS AND FRANCE MIDFIELDER BLAISE MATUIDI TESTS POSITIVE FOR VIRUS
Readers can watch the de Blasio press conference live below:
Join us at City Hall with an update on our city's response to COVID-19. https://t.co/1RX7B63yMI— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
De Blasio said the city is ramping up testing capacity, and should be able to process 5,000 tests a day by Thursday.
* * *
Update (1250ET): The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has climbed above 5k, another grim milestone, as the global case total breaks above 190,000, on track to surpass 200,000 by the end of the week.
In other news, today's task force press conference was another action-packed affair, with the White House promising to send Americans checks within 2 weeks.
* * *
Update (1145ET): During his comments at the opening of Tuesday's task force press conference, President Trump offered some complimentary words toward Andrew Cuomo, and said he met with the leaders of America's fast food giants, and will meet with retail CEOs later.
"We're trying to get people to buy less...just take what you need," Trump said.
He also said Steven Mnuchin has been working hard to strike a new deal with Congress, though he didn't offer too many details.
* * *
Update (1115ET): Thanks in large part to Gov. Cuomo's decisive push to ready state and private labs for testing, New York has reported another 432 cases on Tuesday, bringing the state's total to 1,375.
As of 10:30 a.m. ET, March 17, there are 4,458 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, and 88 deaths, up from 3,579 cases and 67 deaths yesterday.
After President Trump referred to NY as a "hot spot", Cuomo said during Tuesday's press briefing that he takes "full responsibility" for the crisis response in his state, for better or worse.
As Paul Krugman noted, Cuomo's crisis-performance has featured a surfeit of grandstanding, but it does seem like the governor has hit upon an approach that is working for his state, especially when contrasted with the bumbling interviews and indecisive replies from his chief political rival, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Trump's total failure to rise to the occasion came as no surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. Cuomo's decisiveness and effectiveness have been truly (and happily) shocking. https://t.co/8paq169uxo— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 17, 2020
As far as how long the crisis will last, Cuomo said projections suggest the infection rate will peak in 45 days. At that point, he said the state will need 55,000-110,000 hospital beds and 18,600-37,200 ICU beds compared with the 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds that it currently has.
"I am telling you, this [state] government cannot meet this crisis without the resources and capacity of the federal government … We need their help, especially on the hospital capacity issue. We need FEMA," Cuomo said.
Readers can watch today's update below:
Cuomo also announced that 5 new drive-thru testing facilities in four counties this week - Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Staten Island.
* * *
Update (1020ET): Amazon has suspended shipments of "non-essential" goods to its warehouses, prompting groans from millions of quarantined Americans who were hoping to get some shopping done, at least.
Amazon suspending deliveries. Just when you thought today couldn't get worse.— Erika K Nardini (@EKANardini) March 17, 2020
In other news, Mick Mulvaney, the outgoing chief of staff, is in self-quarantine after his niece had contact with a Brazilian official who tested positive. Anything to avoid being shipped off to Northern Ireland...
* * *
Update (0950ET): President Trump slams Michigan's Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer, claiming "we are pushing her to get the job done."
Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020
Trump added that the White House is "working well with the governors and state officials."
Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials. Good things will happen! #KILLTHEVIRUS— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020
Around the world in Moscow, officials have denied reports about a nation-wide quarantine.
* * *
Update (0935ET): Minutes after the open, the Fed is preparing to throw a vital lifeline to the commercial paper market, according to anonymously sourced reports.
FED SET TO REINSTATE COMMERCIAL PAPER FUNDING FACILITY: REUTERS
FED PAPER ANNOUNCEMENT MAY BE AS EARLY AS TODAY, REUTERS SAYS
Earlier, CNBC's Eamon Javers tweeted earlier that investors should expect "action from the Fed today."
A senior administration official tells me “you may see action from the Fed today” on short term credit for businesses. That is “under serious consideration” now I am told. This is just one source, and we are working to develop more information now.— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) March 17, 2020
Luxembourg and Armenia have both declared states of emergency Tuesday. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin, who closed the country's land border with Poland yesterday, said the outbreak in his country was "under control."
S&P also warned that the "sudden economic stop" associated with measures being implemented to stop the virus will lead to a sudden recession - some real cutting-edge analysis right there.
Pakistan’s health ministry announced on Tuesday that the first infected patient had died in Pakistan. The country's first death was announced on a web portal set up to share news about the outbreak. According to the portal, 195 Pakistanis have tested positive for the virus so far, per Reuters.
Spain has set up police checkpoints at its border with Portugal and France, and has even turned away some 500 vehicles carrying foreigners attempting to enter as the latest rash of cases and deaths solidified Spain's status as Europe's second-worst-hit country, according to Reuters.
The government reported 182 new fatalities overnight, bringing the death toll to 491, and making Spain the country with the world’s fastest climbing death toll after Italy. The number of confirmed cases topped 11,178 last night, passing the psychologically important 10,000 barrier.
As the US scrambles to pass the 2nd & 3rd economic stimulus bills, companies hit by the coronavirus will be allowed to receive state grants of up to €500,000, or subsidized state guarantees on bank loans as part of new temporary rules, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday. In other fiscal news, France's finance minister allegedly told reporters that the country's budget deficit will blow out to 3.9% to finance measures to combat the economic decline associated with the virus, per Reuters.
Before we go, earlier, we posted on Goldman's latest cut to its global economic forecast for 2020.
* * *
Update (0915ET): During yet another appearance on CNN by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYC mayor said he's "absolutely considering" a shelter-in-place edict that would - in addition to closing schools - shut down the subway and other public transit while closing all stores except for groceries and pharmacies.
A similar order in San Francisco and other nearby counties orders people to stay inside their homes and only leave for "necessities".
"We’re absolutely considering that," de Blasio said. "We’re going to look at all other options, but it could get to that for sure for the whole country."
* * *
Update (0908ET): Churchill Downs just confirmed that the Kentucky Derby, the most widely watched horse race in the world, has been rescheduled until Sept. 5.
As WDRB reported earlier ahead of the official announcement Tuesday morning, the 146th running of the Derby - a race which is responsible for some $400 million in economic activity in the Louisville area - will be postponed until the first Saturday in September.
* * *
Update (0850ET): President Trump just doubled-down on his "Chinese virus" phrasing, essentially confirming that his original tweet was intended to be both deliberate provocation (perhaps in response to China's repeated insults and lies about the virus originating from the US) and a reminder to the American people that this virus isn't Trump's fault, even as liberals act like Trump cooked up the thing himself in a bioweapons lab.
Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big “hotspot”, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020
Somewhere in the Imperial City, President Xi is probably blowing his stack...
* * *
Update (0830ET): The White House has confirmed that it's planning a massive $850 billion package to put cash in the hands of everyday Americans while also bailing out the airline industry.
* * *
US stock futures stabilized overnight after another widowmaking session on Monday, even as strategists across Wall Street warned their clients not to try and 'catch the falling knife' - but in the absence of any concrete headlines, it seems traders in Japan are finally realizing that the White House is moving closer to the type of fiscal stimulus they want to see. And in Europe, though the G-7's "whatever it takes" pledge didn't do much to quiet local markets, reports about the Eurogroup potentially tapping into a €410 bailout fund appear to have done the job.
Another snippet of good news overnight: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been released from their quarantines, signaling that they have won their battles with the virus.
But perhaps the biggest headline, which landed late last night, was certainly discouraging: The death toll in the US saw its largest daily jump yet on Monday. The US death toll climbed to 85, with more than 4,660 cases confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins. Worldwide, more than 182,424 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, along with 7,155 deaths, affecting at least 155 countries according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
But there was also positive news: Regeneron reported that tests for its "antibody-based" remedies for the coronavirus infection could be ready for the final round of clinical testing by the beginning of the summer, which could see a drug shipped by the end of the summer, according to CNBC's Meg Tirrell.
Pfizer, meanwhile, announced it would partner with a Swiss biotech company to produce a vaccine using a technology similar to Moderna.
Reporting from Beijing, CNBC's Eunice Yoon, reported that a Chinese trial for favipiravir, another antiviral designed to treat the virus, showed "promising" results.
#China researchers have completed clinical studies of #favipiravir, which shows promising clinical efficacy in treating novel #coronavirus pneumonia, head of China National Center for Biotechnology Development, said Tuesday. https://t.co/XJg54zofuv @megtirrell @ScottGottliebMD— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) March 17, 2020
After Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said last night that he would push for an $840 billion economic rescue package for the administration's third rescue bill, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin one-upped him in a leaked report to Politico's Morning Playbook (which hits at around the time most US traders are beginning their pre-market research) claiming that he was pushing for an $850 billion package.
NEW … PLAYBOOK: MNUCHIN seeking $850 billion from Congress …— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 17, 2020
… @united CEO: “The financial impact of this crisis on our industry is much worse than the stark downturn that we saw in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.”https://t.co/BQ70UXWH1G
California Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday ordered all bars, restaurants and wineries in the state closed, one day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti acted unilaterally to impose similar restrictions in LA. California, the largest state in the US which accounts for 1/5th of US GDP, also suspended its state legislature for the next month. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents in his state not to leave their ho,es between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am.
Restrictions have also been imposed by other states, including New York, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland and others. in Connecticut, there have been whispers about a full quarantine and the call-up of national guard troops in the state.
With a hodgepodge of local authorities moving to combat the virus in their communities, more businesses and brands are ordering stores to close. After McDonald's closed its dining rooms and play areas, fitness classes like SoulCycle and OrangeTheory have suspended all classes.
Finally, 8 US banks also got together overnight and accessed the discount window to try and "remove the stigma" as Steve Leisman reported in the midst of the central bank's additional repo-market interventions.
In China, official data suggests the domestic outbreak is over. Across the country, 20 new cases were reported last night, 19 of whom were 'travelers' from abroad. Of course, any new arrivals to China will be herded into 14-day quarantines as Beijing tightens its borders, like everybody else.
At this point, much of the Balkans and Central Europe has shut its borders: Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and a handful of others have instituted strict restrictions or all-out bans on non-citizen, non-resident travelers entering their borders. Last night, French President Emmanuel Macron shut down France and tightened borders as the EU declared that it would begin limiting travel into the Schengen Area.
Some other good news overnight: Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has shipped some 400,000 tests. As drug trials continue at a breakneck pace in China and in the US, the Washington Post has published perhaps the most comprehensive investigation into the CDC's failure to distribute tests. The story seems to suggest that the errors were largely made by CDC bureaucrats and Obama-administration holdovers, though that wasn't WaPo's angle.
Yesterday, the CDC confirmed that one of its employees had tested positive for the virus. On Tuesday, the WHO followed up by reporting that two of its staffers had tested positive.
Poland has become the latest government to confirm that at least one senior official has caught the virus. In the Philippines, the quarantine ordered for the island of Luzon, where roughly half the country's 104 million people live, has created complications, including preventing health-care workers from getting home, and from getting to work.
Late last night, when President Trump blamed the "Chinese Virus" for hurting American businesses, we suspected that American liberals and the Chinese regime (two groups that have been oddly in sync as of late) would respond with fury.
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
Individual epidemiologists warned the comment could strain relations with Beijing at a critical time...
Calling it a “Chinese Virus” makes me incredibly sad. I’m a proud American (happen to be born in China), who is an American thru & thru. This global 🌎 virus knows no race, no creed, or ethnic origin. Let’s conquer #COVID19 together, not apart.🙏 https://t.co/Pzpvy3PAiD— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 17, 2020
The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed Trump for "insulting China", and said the US should "learn to take care of its own business." Just like how China should learn to develop their own technologies instead of just stealing everyone's trade secrets.
And of course the Chinese press once again blasted the president's "racism" in blaming China for a virus that originated in China, and was unleashed upon the world thanks to the CPC's callousness and indiscretion .
Of course, if Beijing finds this phrasing so offensive, then why does it continue to call Swine Flu the 'African Swine Flu'?
So why do prc officials not insist on a name change for African swine fever? Or did I miss their repeated expressions of indignation about a name that stigmatizes an entire continent? https://t.co/OOVW0d5TmY— Bill Bishop (@niubi) March 17, 2020
As China, which has bludgeoned its subservient population with propaganda during the outbreak, was criticizing Trump for his audacious claim, Turkey detained 19 people early on Tuesday over "provocative" and allegedly 'incorrect' social media posts criticizing the Turkish government and its virus response plan.