It’s getting worse…
According to World Health Organization (WHO) there are now 132,536 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide, with the virus causing 4,947 deaths. The countries most devastated by the novel coronavirus have been China (80,981 cases, 3,173 deaths), Italy (15,113 total cases, 1,016 deaths), and Iran (10,075 total cases, 429 deaths). Despite the grim numbers, WHO Director-General reiterated that this is a controllable pandemic, and countries should not shift their strategy from containment to mitigation, as doing so could have dangerous consequences.
Friday, March 13, 2020
A National Emergency
On Friday, President Trump declared a national state of emergency by invoking the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistant Act, which will deploy technical, financial, and logistical assistance to states during the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration frees up $50 billion in federal resources to combat the novel viruses increasing spread on American soil.
Masters Golf Tournament Postponed
The 2020 Masters tournament has been postponed, according Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. “Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date,” Ridley said in a statement.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
In the U.S., there are now over 1,600 cases of COVID-19 confirmed across 47 states with 41 confirmed deaths. Washington State stands as the main hub of infections with 457 cases, followed by New York (328), and California (175). As a result, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and the large urban school districts of Seattle and San Francisco are shutting down all K-12 schools in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread. “Wide-scale learning loss could be among the biggest impacts coronavirus has on children in America,” said Betsy Zorio, vice president of U.S. programs at Save the Children in a press release. “With an unprecedented number of school closures already announced and many more expected, ensuring that children can continue to learn is essential.”
Markets in Turmoil
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points on Thursday following President Trump’s announced 30-day travel ban on visitors from European countries (excluding the UK). The nearly 10% drop marked the biggest one-day plummet since 1987. Despite the Federal Reserve’s attempt to assuage investors unnerved by the COVID-19 pandemic, the market continued to slide. As a result, the New York Fed will pump $1.5 trillion into short-term funding markets over the next two days. They said that these changes “are being made to address highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak.”
In an unprecedented move, the NCAA decided to cancel the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this year amid COVID-19 spread. “Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships,” the NCAA said in a statement. “This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships: https://t.co/qzKAS4McEI pic.twitter.com/G6XreZx35E
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
NHL/MLB Follow NBA’s Lead
The NHL will pause the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Thursday. “In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight’s games,” Commissioner Bettman said.
Also, MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training and games and delay the start of the 2020 regular season, according to baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans,” the league said in a statement. “MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”
On the NBA front: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has become the second player in the league diagnosed with COVID-19, following teammate Rudy Gobert. Mitchell addressed the situation via his Instagram account: “We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well-being of those around them.”
The NHL pauses the 2019-20 season. pic.twitter.com/bCi776ZFqX
— NHL (@NHL) March 12, 2020
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/0bWS5VTRPu
— MLB (@MLB) March 12, 2020
COVID-19 Closes the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’
Disneyland announced on Thursday the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The parks will shut down beginning the morning of Saturday, March 14 through the end of March. Despite no known cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, the Company decided to err on the side of caution “after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest (of guests).”
Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort also announced temporary closures beginning on March 14. Officials of Universal Studios said that park would reopen March 28. “We anticipate remaining closed through the end of March but will continue to evaluate the situation,” they said in a statement.
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) March 12, 2020
Canadian Prime Minister’s Wife Infected
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Therefore, the Prime Minister vowed to keep himself and his wife in isolation for 14 days. “The Prime Minister is in good health with no symptoms. As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days,” the office said.
I have some additional news to share this evening. Unfortunately, the results of Sophie’s COVID-19 test are positive. Therefore, she will be in quarantine for the time being. Her symptoms remain mild and she is taking care of herself and following the advice of our doctor.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 13, 2020
Cancellations/Postponements: Among the many COVID-19 cancellations/postponements, Chicago decided to postpone its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and many Broadway shows, as well as off-Broadway productions have announced cancellations.
Tuesday, March 11, 2020
- WHO officially characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic.
- President Trump addresses the nation and announces a temporary travel ban from 26 countries in Europe over the next 30 days (effective Friday, March 13 at midnight).
- The NBA suspends its 2019-2020 regular season after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19.
- Oscar-winning movie star Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, both test positive for COVID-19 while on set in Australia.
DocWire News will provide breaking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as they become available.