Coronavirus Cases In Europe Surpass China’s Total, Senate Calls 2 PM Vote On Small-Business Relief Package: Live Updates

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/18/2020

Update (1220ET): President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act and deploys FEMA to all regions of the country.

After once again calling on Americans to heed the governments guidance, Dr. Birx said she has seen some preliminary data suggesting that young people are being infected at much higher rates because of their indifference to the virus – which would explain the unusually large number of young people in serious condition in Italy and other parts of the country.

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Update (1200ET): Mitch McConnell has called a vote on the second part of the federal coronavirus response package for 2 pm. The bill was stalled after some GOP lawmakers insisted on making ‘technical alterations’.

In a series of tweets, McConnell says he will support the bill, though he feels it doesn’t go far enough to help small business owners. Of course, in the middle of a crisis, we suspect the small businesses McConnell is championing would rather have something concrete, than all the empty soundbites in the world.

The market is moved higher in recent trade. Is the Trump Administration about to show investors that it has the capacity to step up in times of crisis? Stay tuned…

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Update (1150ET): Cuomo and NY public health officials just confirmed that they’re “looking into” reports about a “cluster” of cases in Borough Park, Brooklyn, a neighborhood that’s overwhelmingly populated by ultra-orthodox Jews, stirring up memories of last year’s measles outbreak.

In other news, the total cases diagnosed in Europe has now passed the total from China.

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Update (1140ET): As we wait for the inevitably tardy White House task force, accompanied by President Trump, to deliver Wednesday’s briefing, here are a few more updates:

Companies in NY shouldn’t have no more than 50% of their workforce in their facilities at any time, NY Gov Andrew Cuomo said, as his daily presser began.

After initially proposing a $50 billion airline bailout, Trump is reportedly proposing lending to air carriers from the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a pool of capital at the Treasury used for direct FX-market interventions. The administration is also reportedly planning to set aside another $150 billion for other industry bailouts.

With NY still leading the country in testing thanks to a handful of ‘drive thru’ testing centers that have opened in the southern part of the state, Cuomo said the state has now confirmed 2,382 cases in the state, up 1,008 since yesterday, slightly larger than yesterday;’s jump.

In Norway, lawmakers passed a bill granting the country’s executive emergency powers, what appears to be a first in Europe.

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