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Coronavirus US: Quarantine across America is 'inevitable' top doctor warns as stocks take record plunge

New York patients tested for virus as Mike Pence defends administration's response amid market concerns

Alex Woodward
Friday 28 February 2020 19:52
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Coronavirus: What we know so far

As more cases of the flu-like respiratory illness are reported across the US, Mike Pence - recently appointed by Donald Trump to lead the administration's response - has insisted the government is in control of the virus despite thousands of people under medical monitoring and officials' scepticism of the vice president's abilities to handle the outbreak.

Market analysts predict record lows for the Dow Jones, seeing one of its worst weeks since the financial crisis, amid fears of a global pandemic, as the president downplays the threat and his allies claim that criticism of the response has been "weaponised" to attack Trump.

After falling by more than 1,100 points on Thursday, the Dow Jones lost 1,000 points moments after the US market opened, marking one of the worst-ever weeks on Wall Street not seen since the financial crisis in 2008.

The S&P 500 also lost another 3 per cent after seeing an all-time high just last week as market analysts predict a market correction.

Meanwhile, health officials in New York City confirmed a patient is being medically investigated for the virus, as other residents in the state are moved into quarantine.

The latest warnings arrive as officials begin to untangle the US response to the virus, including the evacuation of Americans from Wuhan and a whistle-blower report claiming that health officials didn't train workers nor equip with with protection.

California Congressman John Garamendi has blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "failing to take immediate, aggressive action" after a California resident was likely the first confirmed patient to be infected with coronavirus through "community spread" and not direct contact with an infected person who had travelled back into the US.

Pence told Sean Hannity on Fox News late Thursday that the virus risk "remains low" thanks to the president's "decisive action" to combat it.

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Welcome to today's live US coverage of the new novel coronavirus COVID19.

Stay tuned for updates and the administration's response.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 13:36
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New York City health officials have confirmed six people were tested for coronavirus, with results from one other patient pending.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will monitor results.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 13:38
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Pence goes on Fox News to defend coronavirus response 

Mike Pence - despite his handling of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Indiana, where he was governor - was appointed by Donald Trump to lead the administration's response, and his qualifications were immediately called into question.

After appearing in front of conservative allies at CPAC to insist that the US is in good hands, Pence ended the day with Sean Hannity on Fox News, telling the host that the risk of the outbreak's spread in the US "remains low" and praised Trump for his "decisive action" that limited its spread.

He said: "We continue to hope that we'll see, not just Republicans, but Democrats dial down the rhetoric and come alongside the president as we work the problem. That's going to be our objective."

The administration has reportedly ordered that all media messaging and responses from health officials be approved by the White House.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 13:44
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Thursday's plummet was the Dow's largest one-day point decline in history.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 14:10
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The president's right-wing media allies have claimed that criticism of the administration's response is being used to undermine the president.

Meanwhile, the president's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tells the audience at CPAC that the press is covering coronavirus because "they think this will bring down the president. That's what it's all about."

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 14:20
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The man leading the White House response to the coronavirus outbreak in the US mishandled the HIV/AIDS crisis in Indiana, opposed contraception, and has refused to say whether climate change is a threat.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 14:30
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On Fox News, Mike Huckabee joins the chorus of presidential allies accusing Trump's political enemies of using coronavirus to criticize him:

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 15:05
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New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dunks on Texas Senator Ted Cruz after his attempts to undermine her criticism of Mike Pence, who she said "literally does not believe in science":

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 15:28
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2 more cases confirmed in Mexico, neither reported as seriously ill

Health officials in Mexico have confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in the country.

One patient is in Mexico City and the other is in Sinaloa, according to assistant health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell. In the second case, a test is still pending, though officials are considering and treating the patient as a confirmed case. Neither patient is seriously ill.

Both patients had recently travelled to Italy.

At least five people who have been in contact with the first patient are in isolation.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 15:34
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Dow drops 1,000 points after opening

US markets plunged for the seventh consecutive day as world markets fear an impending coronavirus pandemic as officials struggle to contain the outbreak.

After falling by more than 1,100 points on Thursday, the Dow Jones lost 1,000 points moments after the US market opened, marking one of the worst-ever weeks on Wall Street not seen since the financial crisis in 2008.

The S&P 500 also lost another 3 per cent after seeing an all-time high just last week as market analysts predict a market correction.

Alex Woodward28 February 2020 15:58

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