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New York Reports Massive Jump In Covid-19 Cases As More ‘Drive Thru’ Testing Sites Open: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • Fed reportedly plans to throw vital lifeline to Commercial Paper market
  • 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
  • Trump doubles down on “Chinese virus” phrasing after Beijing complains
  • Kentucky Derby postponed until September
  • Goldman says “world is in a recession”
  • Luxembourg declares ‘state of emergency’
  • Mick Mulvaney self-isolating in SC after niece had contact with Brazilian official
  • EU eases rules, allows some state aid to companies
  • France says deficit will blow out to 3.9%
  • NYC Mayor says “absolutely considering” shelter-in-place order
  • 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 (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, re-taking the lead in cases from Washington, and making NY the first US state to break above 1,000 confirmed cases.

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.

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.

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.”

Whitmer

Trump added that the White House is “working well with the governors and state officials.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Individual epidemiologists warned the comment could strain relations with Beijing at a critical time…

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’?

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.


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