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Total cases: More than 24,000 as of Wednesday morning.
Total deaths: At least 490 worldwide as of Wednesday morning
3:12 pm: Epidemiologist warns lawmakers: US can’t keep coronavirus ‘out of our border’
U.S. travel restrictions implemented in recent days to keep a fast-moving virus that has crippled much of China from spreading across America won’t work, a top epidemiologist told U.S. lawmakers. “I have never seen instances where that has worked when we are talking about a virus at this scale,” epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security, testified before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. Respiratory viruses, like the one that’s sickened more than 24,300 across the globe and killed at least 490 in China, “they just move quickly. They are hard to spot because they look like many other diseases,” she said.
2:31 pm: Life under quarantine. Civil rights activists criticize lockdowns
Jarred Evans spent his fourth night of quarantine on the March Air Reserve Base with the 194 other Americans he was evacuated with last week from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Evans and the other Americans at the base in Riverside, California were the first U.S. citizens to be quarantined by the federal government since the 1960s, health officials said last week. American Civil Liberties Union senior policy analyst Jay Stanley said the move is an escalation by the Trump administration that tests the balance of public health and individual liberty. “Quarantining somebody is an extraordinary deprivation of their liberties,” he said. “There’s a burden on the government to determine that it’s really using the least restrictive alternative.”
2:25 pm Wisconsin confirms first case of virus
A Wisconsin resident who recently traveled to China has been infected with the coronavirus, state health officials said at a news conference. The patient is currently “doing well” and in isolation at home, they said. Health officials said there is no immediate danger and the risk to the broader public is “low.” – Lovelace
2:13 pm: US House panel holds hearing on the outbreak
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs is holding a hearing on the outbreak scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. Witnesses include senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security Jennifer Nuzzo, senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation Jennifer Bouey and former White House Ebola response coordinator Ron Klain. Congressman Ami Bera, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, announced the hearing last week. Watch the live hearing here.
1:50 pm: UPS strikes deal with union over flights to China
As the coronavirus spreads, the union that represents UPS pilots has struck a deal with shipping giant to make flying to China “voluntary.” “This joint effort addresses crewmember concerns over safety during the coronavirus health crisis,” the union said in a statement. More than a dozen airlines, including , and have suspended service to mainland China and to Hong Kong, citing a sharp drop in demand because of the outbreak. Others have significantly scaled back service. – Josephs
1:40 pm: Defense Department clears another quarantine site
The Department of Defense has cleared the way for Camp Ashland in Ashland, Nebraska to be used to house as many as 75 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas travel due to the coronavirus. The authorization extends through the end of February. – Macias
1:27 pm: A look at virus-fighting robots that can be used to disinfect hospitals
12:29 pm: US is accepting four new planes carrying Americans from Wuhan
The U.S. is accepting four new planes carrying Americans being evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The Americans will be quarantined at four different military bases across the U.S.: Camp Ashland in Ashland, Nebraska; Travis Air Force Base in California; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. “This could be the beginning of what could be a long response,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call with reporters. – Feuer
This item was updated to correct the name and location of one of the military bases. It’s Camp Ashland near Ashland, Nebraska.
12:18 pm: CDC holds media briefing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scheduled a media briefing at 12:15 p.m. ET to update the public on the latest developments in the U.S. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and Rear Admiral Denise Hinton, chief scientist for the Food and Drug Administration are scheduled to speak.
11:38 am: Oil jumps more than 3% on media reports of coronavirus drug hopes
Oil prices rose on Wednesday following reports of progress on a coronavirus drug, although the World Health Organization did say that there is still no known treatment. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose more than 4% at its session high, touching $51.81 per barrel, for its first positive session in six days. Prices also got a boost as officials from OPEC+ kicked off a second day of meetings in Vienna to discuss potentially deeper production cuts as the coronavirus roils markets. WTI has slipped into bear market territory as traders fear that a slowdown in China’s economy will hit crude demand. -Stevens
11:22 am: WHO calls for more funding
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is requesting additional funding to combat the virus. “We are requesting $675 million (in) U.S. dollars to fund the plan for the next 3 months,” he said on a call with reporters, adding that $60 million of that will fund WHO operations while the rest will go toward supporting countries grappling to contain the virus. “Our message to the international community is invest today or pay more later.” The WHO has already tapped $9 million of funding from its contingency fund for emergencies, Tedros said. –Feuer
10:45 am: WHO says new cases surged in last 24 hours
There were more than 3,100 new cases confirmed in China over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 24,363 in China and 490 deaths as of 6 a.m. Geneva time, World Health Organization officials said. “In the last 24 hours we had the most cases in a single day since the outbreak started,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference. Just 191 of the total cases are outside mainland China and 80% of those cases are concentrated in the Hubei province where the virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan, he said. Of the cases outside of China, 31 of them spread through human-to-human contact, mostly from close friends or relatives who had recently been to China, he said.
10:03 am: WHO schedules media update
The World Health Organization scheduled a media briefing at 10 a.m. ET as the number of cases rises above 24,000 across the globe, most of them contained in China. Watch the live press conference here.
9:57 am: Adidas getting hit by outbreak
Adidas confirmed that it has closed a significant number of stores in China because of the coronavirus. The company is currently operating less than 500 stores in China, 4% of the 12,000 locations it has there, including franchise stores. In a statement to CNBC, the company said it is too early to assess the magnitude of the virus’ impact. – Miller
9:35 am: Coronavirus infects six-month-old baby in Singapore
Singapore’s health ministry confirmed four more coronavirus cases, including a six-month-old baby. Both parents of the infant, a Singapore citizen, have also been infected, the ministry said. On Tuesday, Singapore reported its first cases of citizens and residents who had contracted the virus without recent travel to China, where the outbreak first surfaced in late December. – Reuters
9:30 am: Retailer Capri Holdings takes a hit
Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings said it has taken a $100 million hit to revenue because of the coronavirus. Capri closed 150 of its 225 stores in mainland China and has seen a significantly drop in foot traffic. The company warned that travel restrictions on visitors from China could also put pressure on sales in other regions. “This is going to be a very tough period for luxury brands,” said Ben Cavender, managing director at China Market Research Group in Shanghai. “There is going to be a negative long-term effect as well, as many corporate offices are shut down or barely functioning and this is a key time period for planning future seasons.” – Miller
9:05 am: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commits $100 million
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it will spend up to $100 million to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts for the new coronavirus. It also hopes to accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics. “Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control,” Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said. – Feuer
9 am: Princess Cruises says one person from the US among 10 diagnosed on ship
Princess Cruises confirmed to CNBC that one of the people in its ship near Japan who tested positive for the coronavirus is from the United States. Of the 9 others, there are two passengers from Australia, three from Japan and three from Hong Kong and one Filipino crew member. The 3,700 people on the ship will remain in quarantine for 14 days in total. – Feuer
8 am: ECB chief says outbreak ‘adds a new layer of uncertainty’ to global growth
The president of the European Central Bank expressed concern that China’s coronavirus outbreak is fueling global economic uncertainty. “The short-term uncertainties are mainly related to global risks — trade, geopolitical and now the outbreak of the coronavirus and its potential effect on global growth,” Christine Lagarde said during a speech in Paris, according to Reuters. “While the threat of a trade war between the United States and China appears to have receded, the coronavirus adds a new layer of uncertainty.”
7:25 am: WHO says there are ‘no known’ effective drug treatments against coronavirus
The World Health Organization played down reports of a drug breakthrough against the coronavirus. “There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV and WHO recommends enrollment into a randomized controlled trial to test efficacy and safety,” WHO said Wednesday. “A master global clinical trial protocol for research and prioritization of therapeutics is ongoing at the WHO.” Earlier in the day, Reuters said a Chinese TV media outlet had reported that a research team at Zhejiang University had found an effective drug to treat people with the new coronavirus. The news agency, citing traders, suggested this was a reason for the move higher in stocks. Separately, Sky News reported Wednesday that a scientist from Imperial College London had made a significant breakthrough in the race to develop a vaccine. CNBC has not been able to verify the media reports.
6:20 am: China’s Xi says the country must crack down on coronavirus misinformation
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