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- 2nd US death reported in Washington State
- OECD warns global growth could fall by half
- Indonesia reports first cases
- “Progress is being made” toward a vaccine
- Cuomo says NY expects more cases
- India confirms 2 more cases
- ‘Official’ Iran death toll hits 66
- EU confirms 38 deaths across 18 members
- First cases confirmed in Fla.
- 2 Amazon employees test positive in Milan
- Virus now in 7 US states: Washington, California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Oregon
- San Antonio virus patient re-hospitalized after testing positive
- China warns it could face ‘locust invasion’
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Update (0730ET): As we reported last night, a group of drug company CEOs are on their way to meet with President Trump at the White House.”Progress is being made” toward a vaccine, Trump said.
I am meeting with the major pharmaceutical companies today at the White House about progress on a vaccine and cure. Progress being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2020
Meanwhile, NY Governor and Trump nemesis Andrew Cuomo told CNN Monday that he expects more cases to be confirmed in New York. NYC’s first patient is a woman in her late 30s who contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran.
Amazingly, despite all of Cuomo’s boasts about his state’s state of the art labs and medical resources, the woman is apparently “isolated in her home.”
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Update (0715ET): A Reuters headline from late Sunday just caught our eye, and we felt obligated to share: China’s State Forestry and Grasslands Administration has warned that the world’s second-largest economy could face a devastating “Locust Invasion”.
- CHINA FACES RISK OF LOCUST INVASION – FORESTRY AND GRASSLAND ADMINISTRATION
Last month, we reported that China was deploying an “army of ducks” to help Pakistan fight an invasion of locusts, a plague that is also hurting farmers across Africa.
Looks like Beijing is going to need its ducks back.
The Global Times, meanwhile, is now mocking the CDC for refusing to recommend that Americans should wear facemasks.
Suggesting people not wear face mask is seriously misleading. All of the Chinese experts have advised people to wear face mask when in contact with others during time of epidemic and consider it one of the most effective measures. Please heed suggestion of Chinese experts. pic.twitter.com/xUxq11m7Bg
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) March 2, 2020
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Update (0640ET): Japan reports 15 new coronavirus cases, Reuters reports, bringing the country total to 271, excluding the 705 from the Diamond Princess.
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Update (0615ET): Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, confirmed on Monday that the EU Has 2,100 confirmed cases and 38 confirmed deaths across 18 member states. The bloc has also raised its risk alert level from “moderate” to “high”.
Yet all the borders remain open…
Shortly after South Korea raised its confirmed case toll to roughly 4,300 overnight, South Korea’s transport ministry said flights from South Korea to the US would begin screening all passengers with mandatory temperature checks – techniques that have already been shown to be not entirely effective.
Trump has seemed hesitant to slap South Korea and Italy with the same travel restrictions he used on China. If he cares about being reelected, he might want to reconsider.
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Update (0600ET): After six weeks of speculation about how Indonesia had managed to avoid an outbreak, especially considering the thousands of travelers from Hubei that visited the country, the government of the world’s fourth-largest country had confirmed that two patients had tested positive on Monday, Reuters reports.
In other news, Goldman Sachs has postponed all non-essential travel for its staff “effective immediately” according to a memo seen by Reuters.
* * *
Meanwhile, here’s the State Department’s ‘Travel Advisory’ map. Areas marked ‘red’ indicate ‘Do Not Travel’, areas in yellow or yellow-black stripes are ‘exercise increased caution’ (it’s not clearly visible, but Italy has yellow-black stripes).
The CDC has its own travel advisory map (courtesy of NPR):
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As the wild swings in US equity futures over the last few hours would suggest, we’re headed for another insane week of coronavirus news as America comes to grips with the outbreak as it claims a second life and spreads to the country’s largest city.
The American coronavirus outbreak accelerated rapidly over the weekend, as health officials confirmed the first virus-linked death on Saturday, before confirming a second death of a US citizen – this time a 70-year-old man – in the same area of Washington State.
As we explained last night, state and federal public-health officials are focusing on what appears to be a cluster of confirmed cases in Washington, where both deaths have occurred, as well as outbreaks in Oregon and California where patients had no clear path of transmission for the virus, leading officials to suspect that a more widespread outbreak has already begun. Late Sunday night, Gov. Cuomo confirmed the first case in Manhattan, involving a woman who had recently traveled to Iran. The news followed a seemingly unceasing stream of scares and negative tests in America’s largest city, according to the New York Times.
As we pointed out, the global death toll climbed above 3,000 last night as China reported another 42 deaths.
“Coronavirus Czar” and Vice President Mike Pence reiterated promises to make more testing kits available to state officials, reiterating promises made over the weekend. President Trump and other administration officials are also scheduled to meet with drug company execs on Monday.
The cases confirmed over the weekend were found in seven states: Washington, California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Oregon, and included a mix of people who had traveled to high-risk countries, and others believed to have contracted the virus in the US.
Republican-controlled Florida defied Pence’s urges to ‘remain calm’ and declared a state of emergency on Sunday after the governor’s office confirmed 2 “presumptively positive” cases late Sunday, according to a Florida TV station.
The cases were discovered in Florida’s Manatee County and Hillsborough County.
A patient in San Antonio, one of the evacuees, appeared to recover from the coronavirus illness and had been released from a health care facility after having tested negative twice in more than 24 hours was placed back into isolation, even after the CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted that there was no evidence that people could be ‘reinfected’ after recovering from the virus.
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 2, 2020
India’s health minister confirmed 2 new cases as the virus spreads in India and neighboring Pakistan. Health authorities in Portugal confirmed the first 2 cases in the country early Monday as the virus continues its spread across Europe. And Iran reported 523 new cases of coronavirus Monday morning and 11 new deaths, bringing the total to 1,501 cases confirmed and 66 dead.
After advising employees to stop non-essential travel over the weekend, Amazon said late Sunday that two of its employees in Milan have contracted the virus and are now under quarantine, the NYT reports.
“We’re supporting the affected employees who were in Milan and are now in quarantine,” company spokesman Dan Perlet said.
The world’s biggest online retailer said it was unaware of any U.S. employees who had contracted the virus. On Friday, Amazon told employees to stop non-essential travel, within the United States and beyond. The company also confirmed on Sunday it is moving some recruiting interviews to video rather than in person.
Over in China, on-the-ground reports claim that most Chinese have returned to work at this point. However, in the rush back to work, the CCP appears to have overlooked a few things…like worker-safety standards.
— 曾錚 Jennifer Zeng (@jenniferatntd) March 1, 2020
As Chinese officials continue their campaign to convince the world, and the Chinese population, that the outbreak is subsiding and that everything will soon return to normal, State TV reports the first of 16 hospitals specially built in Wuhan to tackle the coronavirus epidemic.