Friday 13 March 2020

Covid-19 virus update, 13 March

Another record number of new cases.  Most in Italy. China only 3 new cases. 
World going crazy…
Trump address to the nation yesterday had at least two major errors: (a) Trade with Europe is NOT being stopped; just movement of people. And (b) Insurance companies are NOT going to cover the costs of treatment, only of testing. Again, WTF?? The speech was written for him. How could they get such vitally important facts, in face of a global emergency, so disastrously wrong?? This was only his second Address to the Nation, after all. About an international emergency.
Even if Trump just read it off a Teleprompter, shouldn’t the bit about trade being cancelled have rung some alarm bells for him? Prompted him to question it? After all, he’s a businessman. That was weird, crazy and frankly inexcusable. 
Result: the Address did nothing to calm the stock markets, where it’s blood on the floor. All over the floor, everywhere, gallons and gallons of it. We are now near the levels of the Obama years. Four years of gains — wiped out. An absolute, staggering, shocking, cratering collapse. Worst since 1987. Asia has just opened. Also down. “Pure panic” the cables are saying.
Dr Fauci tells Congress: “America is failing” (WSJ).  Testing shortfalls continue.
China spokesman  on CNA saying the virus could have come from American athletes at the Military World Games held in Wuhan last October 18-27. No evidence. But maybe… imagine if true. Many Americans have been so scathing about China. Sometimes outright racist. Latest we know is earliest known patient was infected on November 17. (And doesn’t sound as though he had anything to do with the Games. Still, Patient Zero is yet to be identified).
Europe: tourism down a billion dollars a month. That’s only the beginning. Multiple airlines “on brink of bankruptcy”. (CNA).

News Roundup:
Virus hotspots: between 30 and 50 degrees North?
Russia is profiling Asians (CNA). Even though most cases are now in Europe.
What Boris can teach Donald
Epidemic “may last a year, maybe longer”.
HK - US: business as usual
Manila in lockdown. But: Does lockdown help? Maybe not
California Disneyland closes (Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park already closed)
China makes 120 million masks a day