As of 9:45 a.m.:
US at 6,510 cases; 114 deaths. West Virginia, the last state to be case-free, now has one case.
North Carolina at 66 cases; no deaths.
Stock market down 1,150 as of 9:45 am.
And…. half an hour or so ago…. Salt Lake City, UT just had a 5.7 earthquake. No reports of injuries.
Trump seems to be focused on other things:
… and the usual gaslighting about his attentiveness to this.
I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
But here we are…. the new normal. And uncertainty about how long it lasts.
Fox News is getting hammered for its turnabout of late:
“Fox had a responsibility to provide its viewers with clear, accurate information about the ongoing public health crisis. Instead, for crucial weeks … the network’s propagandists downplayed the danger posed by the virus and portrayed it as a politicized hoax….” https://t.co/3bxEHgTZQ2— Anil Kalhan (@kalhan) March 18, 2020
Hillary — just now:
The president is turning to racist rhetoric to distract from his failures to take the coronavirus seriously early on, make tests widely available, and adequately prepare the country for a period of crisis.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 18, 2020
Don’t fall for it. Don’t let your friends and family fall for it.
Update on earthquake in Utah:
UPDATE: 1:00 pm — Trump and Co give a press conference announcing some new initiatives like hospital ships and invoking the Defense Production Act, which would force American industry to manufacture medical supplies. But as this happens the Dow hit another circuit breaker as it plunges down 1660.63 (7.82%). It is at 19,576… far below when Trump took office.
This also happened:
Asked if the rich and famous get unfair advantages, the guy who inherited millions from his father and used it to become a TV game show host and then traded on that fame to become president says “Perhaps that’s the story of life.”— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) March 18, 2020
Trump also used his platform to attack Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The president pivoted to the election after a reporter observed that his “credibility rating” had taken a hit over his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump replied by pivoting to the 2020 election.
“I see that they’re very high,” the president said, insisting that “95% of the Republican Party” backs him.
“We just had a poll that was done by a very reputable group where I’m beating sleepy Joe Biden by a lot in the state of Florida,” he continued. “And in other states. So, I don’t really know who you’re talking about.”
UPDATE: The Dow dropped 1,338.46 points, or 6.3%, today and clinched its first close below 20,000 since February 2017. The Dow was down more than 2,300 points at the lows of the session. The S&P 500 dropped 5.2% to 2,398.10 and closed nearly 30% below a record set last month as both indexes sank further into bear markets.