By Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert
WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and different financial officers on Monday to weigh doable actions to stem the fallout from a widening coronavirus outbreak, an administration official advised Reuters.
The Trump administration, which has performed down the menace posed by the outbreak, is weighing quite a lot of potential coverage steps, together with paid sick depart, the official stated on situation of anonymity.
The variety of confirmed U.S. circumstances of coronavirus was at 566, together with 22 deaths, in response to state public well being authorities and a operating nationwide tally stored by the Johns Hopkins College.
About three-fourths of the 50 U.S. states have reported infections of the respiratory sickness COVID-19 that may result in pneumonia.
U.S. inventory markets, which have offered off prior to now two weeks on fears the coronavirus outbreak would push the worldwide financial system right into a recession, plummeted on the open of buying and selling on Monday, triggering a buying and selling halt on the New York Inventory Change. Main U.S. indexes have been down greater than 4% in late-morning buying and selling.
Requested in regards to the newest inventory market plunge, U.S. Well being secretary Alex Azar advised reporters the federal authorities was working aggressively on the disaster. “We’re taking COVID-19 extremely significantly,” he stated.
Trump, usually factors to the inventory market as a gauge of his financial file, criticized information media organizations’ protection of the outbreak in a tweet and accused Democrats of hyping the state of affairs “far past what the information would warrant.”
The Republican president didn’t have any coronavirus-related occasions on his schedule heading into Monday.
The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China late final 12 months, has unfold to no less than 105 nations and territories. More than 110,000 individuals have been contaminated and about 3,800 have died. Italy, which has the second-highest demise toll, has sealed off a lot of its rich industrial north in an effort to include the outbreak.
Because the flu-like sickness spreads, each day life in United States has been more and more disrupted, with concert events and conferences canceled and universities telling college students to remain dwelling and take lessons on-line.
Anthony Fauci, head of infectious illnesses on the U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being, advised CNN the outbreak was evolving and the US was in a “fog of conflict” much like the early days of the HIV and hen flu epidemics.
Fauci and different well being officers say older People, particularly these with continual medical considerations, in all probability ought to keep away from massive social gatherings, cruise ships and airline flights, given the fast unfold of coronavirus.
Warnings from Fauci and others in regards to the want for better “social distancing” – the apply of minimizing pointless contact in public settings – got here amid disclosure of a high-profile instance of the dangers now inherent in giant gatherings.
Senator Ted Cruz and U.S. Consultant Paul Gosar introduced over the weekend that they’d self-quarantine after coming in touch at a conservative political convention with an attendee who later examined optimistic for the virus.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who’s heading the administration’s response to the disaster, additionally attended the convention. The White Home stated there is no such thing as a indication they got here into contact with the contaminated attendee.
White Home spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham advised Fox Information she was assured Trump wouldn’t get sick. The president “is sort of a handwasher. He makes use of hand sanitizer. He isn’t involved about this in any respect.”
As just lately as Saturday, Trump stated he would proceed to carry political rallies, which typically draw as much as 20,000 individuals. The main Democrats competing to problem him within the Nov. Three presidential election, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, haven’t canceled any marketing campaign occasions up to now.
CRUISE SHIP CRISIS
The toughest-hit place in the US has been a nursing dwelling within the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, and Washington state is contemplating obligatory measures resembling banning giant gatherings however not essentially imposing huge quarantines.
The Life Care Middle nursing facility has accounted for 13 of 18 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths in Washington state.
In California, officers are transferring forward with a plan to dump 2,400 passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which was barred from returning to San Francisco final week resulting from a coronavirus outbreak on board.
Many of the passengers will go to quarantine facilities at 4 army bases throughout the nation, with these requiring speedy medical consideration going to hospitals. The crew of 1,100 can be quarantined and handled aboard the ship, until they’re in want of acute care off the vessel.
The ship was ordered to stay at sea final week after a gaggle of passengers and crew developed flu-like signs, and well being officers realized some passengers from an earlier cruise aboard the identical vessel had later contracted coronavirus. One has died.
California has greater than 100 confirmed circumstances.
The quantity of people that have examined optimistic throughout New York state elevated to 142, up from 105 a day earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated on Monday.
Many of the circumstances are in Westchester county, the place a Manhattan lawyer believed to be on the middle of the outbreak there resides, Cuomo advised a information convention.
Rick Cotton, govt director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which controls airports and different main journey hubs, has examined optimistic for the coronavirus and can be quarantined and dealing from dwelling, Cuomo added.
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(Reporting by Steve Holland, Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert in Washington and Nathan Layne in New York Writing by Paul Simao Enhancing by Jonathan Oatis and Invoice Berkrot)
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