In a brief Oval Office address, President Trump laid out his plan to respond to the COVID19 crisis that’s rapidly spreading fear across the global economy.
President Trump announced his decisions to stem the spread of the coronavirus across the world.
Despite that The White House had to correct some of Trump’s statements following his address, he started saying that the United Stated will be suspending most travel from Europe for 30 days. The restrictions do not apply to Britain. He also imposed a 30-day ban on foreigners who have been in the 26 countries that make up the European Union’s Schengen Area in the previous two weeks. The limits take effect Friday at midnight and will exempt American citizens and permanent legal residents and their families, although they could be funneled to certain airports for enhanced screening.
The State Department also issued an advisory telling Americans to “reconsider travel” to all countries because of the global effects of the coronavirus. It is the department’s second-strongest advisory, behind “do not travel.”
Donald Trump also said that the IRS will be instructed to push back the April 15 tax payment deadline. He called for low interest loans for small businesses and a payroll tax cut from Congress. The president added that he planned to soon announce emergency action to provide financial relief for workers who fall ill or need to be quarantined. He stated that health insurance companies had agreed to extend insurance coverage to cover coronavirus treatments as well as waive related co-payments.
According to The New York Times, the president, sitting behind the Resolute Desk with his arms crossed, finally appeared to be acknowledging the severity of the virus, calling it a “horrible infection” and acknowledging that Americans should cut back on travel that was not necessary. It signaled a break from the business-as-usual attitude he had been trying to project as recently as Tuesday, when he urged Americans to “stay calm” and said the virus would soon go away.
“This is not a financial crisis,” President Trump said. “This is just a temporary moment in time that we will overcome as a nation and a world.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a disturbing warning during a White House briefing Tuesday saying Aericans everywhere need to change the way they live their lives, because “When the infections will come — and they will come, sorry to say, sad to say — we want to be where the infection is going to be, as well as where it is.” Up until March 12th, there are more than 1,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CNN reporting.
The COVID19 effects
The stock market has been on red numbers for the past few weeks amid growing worries of the coronavirus outbreak, and now that President Trump has announced his travel ban and governments are announcing differing responses to the ongoing outbreak, the stocks have plunged once more.
A shock move by President Donald Trump Wednesday to halt travel from Europe shook investors already panicked about the prospects of a global recession on the back of the pandemic. U.S. stock indexes resumed trading on Thursday after being halted for 15 minutes, as the S&P 500 benchmark plummeted 7% and triggered an automatic cutout shortly after the opening bell. All three main indexes have now fallen over 24% from their intraday record highs hit in February.
CNBC reports that large companies and retailers like Apple and Nike have made headlines during the coronavirus outbreak, as investors anxiously await news on whether the virus will impact the companies’ abilities to make sales. Just on March 12th, The New York Stock Exchange was temporarily suspended after recording a 7% drop on opening. The Dow Jones, an index of 30 of the largest companies in the United Staes, dropped more than 1,600 points, or 7%, and the S&P 500 fell a similar amount. Trading resumed after 15 minutes, The Scotsman adds.
Claudia Sahm, a former Federal Reserve staff economist who’s now with the Washington Center on Equitable Growth, spoke to Vox and said:
“The economy is reacting to the coronavirus. As of [Wednesday, March 11th] morning, stock prices were down almost 20 percent. And this is just from three weeks ago. This is a very rapid contraction and we’re flirting with what’s called a bear market. That’s where you hit the 20 percent mark. This is a very swift descent and a sign that we’re in a frightening economic situation.”
I want to add one thing about stock prices, because we’ve seen them jump up and down and the markets are gyrating at this point. The markets are telling us a few things. The most important thing is that they don’t know what’s going on, and these are professionalswho are supposed to know what’s going on. But this makes sense since there’s a lot of uncertainty about how the crisis will unfold (…) events are moving quickly and anybody that tells you that they know what the hell is going on is lying.”
On customer habits
As uncertainty over coronavirus continues to grow, consumers are becoming more cautious about shopping in public places and are utilizing online shopping as a means of getting necessities, per Rimma Kats from eMarketer.
The N.B.A. will suspend its season after a Utah Jazz player was found to have tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, the league said it “will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.” The NBA has billions in revenue at stake through TV deals, ticket sales, merchandise, and more. No one is quite sure what’s going to happen next, including commissioner Adam Silver. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without public fans this year out of coronavirus concerns.
In the football pitch, as Italy is the nation most-affected by the killer bug, with the entire country now on complete lockdown, the Serie A could be suspended entirely – with no winner in the hotly-contested race for the title. In Spain, Real Madrid confirmed in a statement that one of its basketball players had tested positive for the coronavirus, and as the basketball team shares a training facility with its soccer team, the club has decided to suspend sporting operations. Per the New York Times, the European soccer’s governing body said it would meet next week to determine the fate of this summer’s European championship, a sprawling tournament in which 24 teams would visit 12 countries. The Champions League, the richest, grandest tournament in club soccer, faces an uncertain future after Real Madrid became the latest of Europe’s elite teams to go into quarantine. More than a dozen competitions in Europe and the Americas have already said they will temporarily suspend play.
For baseball, the Major League Baseball (MLB) is according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.following a conference call about how to respond to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak,
However, despite all of this, the largest disruption the coronavirus could have on a public event could still be to come, because The Independent reports that Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympics minister, has admitted that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may have to be postponed. “The contract calls for the games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” said Ms Hashimoto in response to a question in parliament.
On cultural and public events
Colleges and universities across the United States and the world are deploying measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. Harvard, for instance, has asked its students not to return to campus after vacations.
Coronavirus fears have affected major events like SXSW, BTS’s “Map of the Soul Tour”, Mariah Carey’s Hawaii concert, Khalid’s Free Spirit World Tour, Stormzy’s “Heavy Is the Head World Tour”, Green Day and Avril Lavigne concerts, as well as Pearl Jam, Ciara, Madonna, KISS, Louis Tomlinson, Zac Brown and The Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler officially canceled SXSW on March 6, while The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers canceled its annual conference in Los Angeles. Organizers pulled the plug on the year’s biggest trade show for video games (E3) on March 11. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was cut short due to coronavirus concerns as there are more than a dozen confirmed cases in the Houston area as of March 11. RuPaul’s DragCon LA has officially been canceled this year. Facebook also decided to cancel its annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, scheduled for May 5-6.
Head to www.isitcanceledyet.com to see which events are already confirmed cancelled.