Trump promises economic relief plan in fight against coronavirus

(NEW YORK) — A global outbreak of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 110,000 people, mostly in China.

The newly identified virus, known officially as COVID-19, was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread to every continent except Antarctica. At least 3,825 people have died so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

South Korea, Italy and Iran have the highest national totals of confirmed cases behind China, respectively. France and Germany have also seen a rising number of infections, with confirmed cases north of 1,000 in both countries.

Here is how the situation unfolded on Monday. All times eastern:

10:14 p.m. White House says Trump has not been tested for COVID-19

Responding to an inquiry by reporters, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying that the president has not been tested for the coronavirus.

“The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” the statement said.

“Per current CDC guidelines, medical professionals should base testing decisions on patient symptoms and exposure history,” it added.

Two Republican members of Congress who interacted with Trump over the weekend announced Monday that they will voluntarily self-quarantine after discovering that they interacted with a Conservative Political Action Conference attendee who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins announced he’d been informed there’s a photo of him with the CPAC attendee who tested positive. Collins later shook hands with Trump on the tarmac at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, on Friday before joining him on a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who also had contact with the CPAC attendee, was spotted Saturday night with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, then rode with Trump in his armored limousine to the Orlando, Florida, airport Monday, before flying back to Washington with him on Air Force One.

9:58 p.m. SEC asks D.C. employees to work from home

The Securities and Exchange Commission is the first major federal employer in the nation’s capital to ask all its Washington, D.C., employees to work from home, after a staffer came down with possible coronavirus symptoms Monday.

The employee was treated for respiratory symptoms and informed by a physician that the staffer may have the coronavirus, an SEC spokesperson said. The employee was referred for testing.

“Even with increased telework, the SEC remains able and committed to fully executing its mission on behalf of investors, including monitoring market function and working closely with other regulators and market participants,” an SEC spokesperson said.

In addition to its Washington, D.C., headquarters, the agency has regional offices in cities including Denver, San Francisco, New York City and Fort Worth, Texas.

8:15 p.m. Life Care Center says 31 more residents test positive

Administrators at the Life Care Center nursing home in King County, Washington, where 19 people have died from the coronavirus, say the virus has spread to additional residents.

The center received 35 new tests results, of which 31 came back positive. Three of the tests were inconclusive while one was negative, according to the center’s administrators.

The center has been asked not to transport patients to hospitals unless they are showing acute symptoms. Administrators said they are setting up a wing to house the patients who tested negative.

The 19 deaths at Life Care represent two-thirds of the total number of U.S. coronavirus deaths to date. The elderly victims have included residents in their 80s and 90s.

6:48 p.m. Trump says economic relief plan in the works

President Donald Trump made a brief appearance at the White House’s Monday evening coronavirus press conference, touting an upcoming economic relief plan.

The president said he would meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders to discuss economic relief proposals, including a payroll tax cut and loans for small businesses, in order to combat financial hardships that could result from the coronavirus.

“The main thing is we are taking care of the American public and will be taking care of the American public,” he said.

Trump promised more details Tuesday after the meeting.

Officials also directed members of the public to the governmental website coronavirus.gov for information on protecting individuals, homes and businesses from the coronavirus.

The president left without taking questions from reporters, including one about whether he has been tested for the virus. Two members of Congress who recently spent time with the president, Doug Collins and Matt Gaetz, are in self-quarantine after coming in contact with an infected CPAC attendee.

Vice President Mike Pence said he didn’t know if Trump has been tested and added that he himself has not been tested yet.

“I simply don’t know what the White House physicians have directed … so we’ll get you an answer on that,” Pence said.

Also at the White House, incoming White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is self-quarantining until Wednesday, officials announced later Monday evening. Meadows, like several other GOP leaders, was informed that he may have come into contact with the CPAC event attendee who tested positive.

Meadows’ tests for the coronavirus came back negative, and he is not experiencing any symptoms.

6:00 p.m. Boston cancels St. Patrick’s Day parade

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city’s 2020 St. Patrick’s Day parade will be canceled out of abundance of caution over the coronavirus.

“While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases. Our top priority is preventing any new cases,” he said in a statement.

Boston is the first major U.S. city to cancel its St. Patrick’s Day parade. Earlier in the afternoon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no immediate plans to cancel its parade.

New York City, Boston, Chicago and Savannah, Georgia, host the United States’ largest St. Patrick’s Day parades, according to Rand McNally, with New York’s event being one of the largest U.S. parades overall.

4:45 p.m. Italy expands lockdown to entire country

Officials in Italy are expanding emergency anti-coronavirus restrictions to apply to the whole country.

The Italian government is directing all residents to remain at home and not to travel unless required by their work.

All public gatherings in open air or public places are being banned. Schools in the entire country are to remain closed until April 3.

The decree, which affects all 60 million people living in Italy, will go into effect Tuesday, according to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

As of Monday, Italy had 9,172 coronavirus cases and 463 deaths, according to health officials.

In the U.S., Delta Airlines announced it would suspend flights from Atlanta to Rome starting Wednesday.

The suspension will last until April 30.

The airline will waive change fees for customers who travel both internationally and domestically through April 30, if their tickets were purchased before March 9.

4:45 p.m. Two more Congress members announce self-quarantine

Two more members of Congress announced they are self-quarantining after they were exposed to the virus.

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-CA, said she is remaining at home and closing her Washington, D.C., office for the rest of the week after she found out that an individual who tested positive visited her last week. Neither she nor her staff are currently experiencing any symptoms, she said.

“Out of an abundance of absolute caution, my DC staff and I are self-monitoring and maintaining social distancing practices,” Brownley said in a statement.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. who made light of the coronavirus fears by wearing a gas mask on the House floor last week, tweeted he came in contact with the infected CPAC attendee.

He said he isn’t experiencing any symptoms since meeting the infected attendee 11 days ago, but he is awaiting the results of a test.

“Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week,” his account tweeted.

Gaetz is the fourth congress member who is self-quarantining after attending the CPAC conference, which took place from Feb. 26-29. Reps. Doug Collins and Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz said they haven’t shown any symptoms.

4:20 p.m. Stocks close with a nearly 8% drop

Stock markets saw another brutal day of trading, with major losses over the coronavirus.

The Dow ended the day losing over 2,000 points or 7.8%. The S&P 500 fell 6.63% and the Nasdaq slipped 7.29%.

An automatic circuit breaker safety mechanism was activated Monday morning to stop stock prices from free falling do to all of the selling.

4 p.m. Four new American deaths identified, death toll at 26

Four new coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the United States, bringing the death total up to 26.

King County, Washington, health officials said the three new fatalities were women over 70 who lived in the Life Care Center nursing home. Out of the 20 corona deaths in the county, 19 were Life Care Center residents.

Santa Clara, California, health officials said it had its first COVID-19 death, an adult woman in her 60s who was diagnosed on Feb. 28.

Washington leads the country with 22 deaths, followed by Florida and California, each with two recorded fatalities.

3:31 p.m. Rep. Doug Collins announces self-quarantine

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., announced he will self-quarantine after he discovered he interacted with the infected CPAC attendee. The event was from Feb. 26-29.

Collins said he isn’t experiencing any symptoms, but decided to stay home until the 14-day period is over out of an abundance of caution.

Collins is the third member of Congress who attended CPAC to go into self-quarantine, after Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar revealed they had interacted with the infected attendee.

Collins was with President Donald Trump on Friday when he visited the CDC facility in Atlanta.

3:23 p.m. Italy death toll surges to 463

Italy recorded 93 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of virus-related fatalities in the country to 463, according to Italian health officials.

The majority of the deaths, 89%, are Italians over the age of 70, according to Italy’s Civil Protection Agency. Italian health official Gianni Rezza said testing carried out only on patients that exhibited symptoms contributed to the increased the death toll.

Italy is taking more precautions to prevent the spread, including closing all ski slopes in the country on Tuesday.

3:05 p.m. Israel orders quarantine for all arrivals

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that all Israelis returning back to the country will be required to undergo self-quarantine for two weeks.

Israel had already imposed a self-quarantine order for travelers who returned from China, Italy and other infected countries.

“This is a difficult decision,” Netanyahu said, “but it is essential for safeguarding public health, and public health comes first.”

The Palestinian Authority is barring all foreign visitors for the next two weeks, and closed Bethlehem churches and mosques.

1:50 p.m. President invites Wall Street executives to White House meeting

President Donald Trump has invited top Wall Street executives to a meeting at the White House on Wednesday to discuss concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus, a White House official told ABC News.

The White House has yet to offer details about who has been invited or the precise agenda for the meeting.

The Dow Jones was down by nearly 2,000 points mid-day.

Trump was also set to hold an internal meeting Monday afternoon that is focused on an economic response, according to a person familiar with the plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes the financial market disruption is related to the White House’s handling of the situation.

“I believe, what we know about the Dow is that they want certainty. They want to have confidence that there is a plan,” she told reporters at a press conference in Boston.

1:04 p.m. WHO says most infected patients will recover

World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus provided some reassuring news about the outbreak during the organization’s latest briefing in Geneva.

Of the approximately 80,000 coronavirus patients in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged, Dr Tedros said, noting that show of progress gives him hope.

“Among those who are infected most will recover,” he said.

The director added that 93% of all of the world’s coronavirus cases are concentrated in just four countries.

12:10 p.m. New York creates its own hand sanitizer to deal with shortage

At a press conference on Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state has begun producing its own hand sanitizer after hearing from local governments that they are having a hard time acquiring the product.

Cuomo noted the World Health Organization and CDC suggest 60% alcohol content in hand sanitizer and the “New York State Clean” product will have 75% alcohol.

The governor said Corcraft, which is the brand name of the New York State Division of Correctional Industries, will make the hand sanitizer.

Corcraft “uses the manufacturing of products to assist in the department’s overall mission to prepare offenders for release through skill development, work ethic, respect and responsibility,” according to their website. The product will be produced by state prisoners at the Grand Meadow correctional facility in Washington County.

The state’s current capacity is 100,000 gallons per week. The state will be providing it to governmental agencies, schools, the MTA and prisons.

11:49 a.m. Port Authority head tests positive for COVID-19

Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cotton has been placed in quarantine and his aides are also being tested, Cuomo told reporters Monday.

New York state now has 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest of any state in the country, according to Cuomo.

11:20 a.m. FDA and FTC warn 7 companies selling fraudulent COVID-19 products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission jointly issued warning letters on Monday to seven companies for selling fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat or prevent coronavirus infection.

The products cited in the warning letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver.

“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement. “We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their health care providers, as well as follow advice from other federal agencies about how to prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to aggressively pursue those that place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.”

The FDA and FTC requested the companies each respond in 48 hours describing the specific steps they have taken to correct the violations.

“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”

The warning letters are the first to be issued by the FDA for unapproved drugs intended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus. There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved for COVID-19.

10:12 a.m. Trading halted as US markets plunge

U.S. financial markets plummeted as trading began on Monday morning — enough to trigger a temporary halt to trading — amid fears over the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak as well as uncertainty over falling oil prices.

Stock trading was halted for 15 minutes just after the S&P 500 dropped more than 7% within the first minutes of trading. The halt was caused by an automatic circuit breaker safety mechanism that kicked in to prevent a free fall.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,800 points, or more than 7%, at the opening. The Nasdaq similarly tumbled by more than 6%.

Even after trading resumed following the halt, the Dow was down more than 1,400 points.

Moreover, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to an unprecedented low of 0.408%, a possible signal that investors are expecting a recession.

9:37 a.m. No known cases in US federal prisons, officials say

There are currently no known cases of the novel coronavirus among inmates in U.S. federal prisons, officials say.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Nancy Ayers said the department is following guidelines for COVID-19 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the World Health Organization.

“There are no known cases of COVID-19 among Bureau of Prisons inmates at this time,” Ayers said in a statement Monday. “Out of an abundance of caution, the BOP provided guidance to health care professionals throughout the system and has a screening tool in place for use in the event an inmate or staff member is exposed or symptomatic. The BOP has an internal web-based system for reporting infectious diseases and outbreaks, allowing access to health care and correctional professionals system-wide.”

8:12 a.m. Passengers disembark Regal Princess cruise ship in Florida

Passengers began disembarking the Regal Princess early Monday morning after the cruise ship received clearance to dock in Florida’s Port Everglades.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a “no-sail order” for the Regal Princess over the weekend while two crew members were tested for the novel coronavirus. Although neither showed any symptoms, there were concerns that the crew members could be carriers of COVID-19 because they had transferred over from the Grand Princess cruise ship in California, which has 21 confirmed cases.

The test results for the two crew members came back negative Sunday night, according to a statement from Princess Cruises, which operates both the Regal Princess and the Grand Princess.

7:01 a.m. South Korea sees drop in new cases

South Korea recorded just 248 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, a significant drop in the past 24 hours.

So far, 7,382 people in the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest data from South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Korea has the highest national total of confirmed cases of anywhere outside China.

6:25 a.m. China slowly returns to normality as makeshift hospitals close and some schools reopen

China reported only 40 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 22 fatalities as of Sunday, a marked decrease from when the country was recording thousands of new infections just last month.

That brings the cumulative total to 80,735 confirmed cases and 3,119 deaths on the Chinese mainland. An additional 169 confirmed infections and four deaths have been reported in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, according to China’s National Health Commission.

All makeshift hospitals built to treat infected patients with mild symptoms in Wuhan, the epicenter, are expected to wrap up operations and close down Tuesday, according to state-owned China Central Television.

As of Sunday afternoon, 11 of the 14 hospitals have suspended operation with their patients either discharged or transferred to other hospitals.

Meanwhile, some schools have reopened as the country slowly returns to normality after months of battling the epidemic.

5:44 a.m. Costa Fortuna cruise ship granted approval to dock in Singapore

Singapore port authorities told ABC News that they will allow the Costa Fortuna cruise ship to dock on Tuesday.

The vessel has still been turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand amid fears over the novel coronavirus outbreak. Italian cruise line Costa Crociere, which operates the ship, has said there were no suspected cases of COVID-19 on board.

5:12 a.m. Elementary school student tests positive in Indiana

An elementary school student in Indiana has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.

Test results came back late Sunday night confirming that a student at Hickory Elementary School in Avon, Indiana, had contracted COVID-19. Hickory Elementary School will be closed for two weeks, according to a press release from the school district, Avon Community School Corporation.

“It is our intent to provide our Hickory students with ongoing learning opportunities, which may include e-learning and other experiences,” the school district said.

The school district has also decided to have an e-learning day for all schools in the district on Monday.

3:28 a.m. Grand Princess cruise ship to dock in California

Passengers are expected to begin disembarking the Grand Princess in California’s port of Oakland on Monday.

The cruise ship has been kept offshore for four days days, waiting in limbo as health officials tested dozens on board for the novel coronavirus after it was discovered that the vessel had previously carried two people who contracted COVID-19. At least 21 people on board have tested positive, officials said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the disembarkation process will take place over multiple days and in order of priority. Those who are infected will disembark first and will be transported to local hospitals. Next, California residents will be taken to either the Travis Air Force Base or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for a 14-day quarantine. Then all other passengers will disembark and go to either Lackland Air Force Base in Texas or Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia for a 14-day quarantine, while foreigners will be repatriated on chartered flights, according to Newsom.

Crew members who aren’t sick will complete their 14-day quarantine on board the ship, which will leave the port as soon as the disembarkation process is complete, Newsom said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it transported seven people from the California Department of Health and Human Services, along with supplies, to the Grand Princess on Sunday evening. The team will determine the medical status of all passengers and crew aboard ahead of the ship’s arrival.

To avoid delays, testing will be conducted when guests arrive at their onward destination, according to Princess Cruises, which operates the ship.

“All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the federal, state and local authorities who are coordinating, collaborating and activating resources and personnel in support of this response to provide care and attend to the health and well-being of our guests and crew,” the cruise line’s president, Jan Swartz, said in a statement late Sunday night.

The Coast Guard said it also medically evacuated a critically ill passenger and his wife on Sunday morning. The passenger, a man in his early 60s, had a non-coronavirus-related medical emergency and required further treatment.

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