C.D.C. Gives New Guidelines, New York to Close Restaurants and Schools and Italian Deaths Rise

Mar 15, 2020 · 877 comments
Carl (Arlington, Va)
Let's just turn the printing presses over to the big banks already, and save the money it costs to run the Fed and Treasury. Banks had no trouble lending money when interest rates were higher and they actually paid enough interest on deposits that people felt it was worth trying to save money.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
Why no pearls of wisdom from Mitch, Lindsey and Rudy?
A (Denver, CO)
Can we discuss how all of WeWork - a COHABITATION space is requiring all of their community members to continue to work to keep spaces open when every building is above 50 in occupancy. This includes making community members work at buildings with multiple confirmed cases? Where is the pressure for these big greedy companies to help flatten the curve? Or do we all have to continue to worry because they can’t go two weeks without being open?
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
“Trump's Mar-a-Lago getting a deep clean after confirmed coronavirus cases”, being reported by CNN. Does that mean that Trump won’t be allowed to enter? After all, he makes everything dirty.
Carl (Atlanta)
Regarding Devin Nunes and many others in the Trump orbit (Kushner, Miller, advisors, cabinet secretaries), being grandiose AND stupid is very bad, for all of us. The natural selection of narcissists for these positions. Also, "the market" may be a house of cards, our 401K's etc, it is of course all based on conspicuous consumption, the psychology of marketing, etc. Extrapolate this human behavior to the farther off, less concrete, "slower" moving, phenomena of climate change, and the human reaction to it.
Weiler (Tx)
I say this with no sarcasm at all. I am so very sincere. President Trump please resign. You gave it your best shot but it just isn’t working. The country really needs you to do this for the sake of our country. It would really calm things if you and Vice President Pence were to step aside. It would be such an honorable thing to do.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
Donald Trump’s resignation would go a long way in calming things down.
jdp (Atlanta)
The two emergency room doctors who have contacted the virus while helping other victims deserve America's Metal of Freedom, not Rush Limbaugh. Trump's efforts to acquire exclusive rights to the promising virus vaccine being developed in Germany is even more disgusting. Such is the shame he has brought our country.
Joyce (North Carolina)
I agree. They gave up their lives for us.
Harriet Katz (Cohoes N’y)
I missed the news about trump trying to get exclusive rights to a cure for the virus?
kenneth (nyc)
@jdp You're right. Nobody deserves Rush Limbaugh.
CHARLES (Switzerland)
OK. I was readily optimistic that new policies by CDC and the administration would ease the chaos in the US. However, the disaster and potential exposure at airport arrivals confirmed the worst fears... that the administration is not thinking through what they are announcing. It's a train wreck all the way. Just watched Pelham 123!!
Jon (Bronx)
No one will ever admit this: more people will die from the over-reaction to the barely-more-deadly-than-the-seasonal-flu-corona-virus than because of the virus itself. Count on it. Lost jobs, lost income, lost insurance....lost lives...classic case of 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'....way to go panic-mongers!
NewYorker (Nyc)
Totally agree “All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic & social disruption & respecting human rights" There is no attempt to find that balance. Just emphasizing panic and short term decision making with long term consequences
Dot (Chicago)
@Jon No one will ever admit it because it is NOT true.
WeThePeople (Where Truth Still Counts)
@NewYorker ...panic and short term decision making...kind of like Trump chopping away at the Fed rate with no thought of what's left in the toolbox for when we finally get to the other side of this?!?
Stephen (New Haven)
Maybe this virus will end the Reagan/Trump era.
Josef K. (Steinbruch, USA)
It’s tragic that the stupid, irresponsible advice Devin Nunes is peddling will be heeded by enough ignorant people that the rest of us will be put at greater risk than need be. At what point does his “advice” cross the line into yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theater territory? Can’t the House at least censure him?
Claire (Westchester)
NYT, can you report on how are the confirmed cases implementing self quarantine? Do they run the risk of infecting their whole family?
DataDrivenFP (California)
@Claire Self-quarantine limits spread to those who would have been infected no matter what, typically close contacts. It reduces the chances of their neighbors and friends being infected. https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca
ChrisH (Cape Cod, MA)
Where’s Pence in all of this? Donut shop?
Caleb (Maine)
What's going to happen to everyone in the service industry, what good is a payroll tax cut going to do for the thousands of staffs around the country staring at empty dinjng rooms?
CK (Christchurch NZ)
In NZ it is no gatherings of 500 people or more, not 50. Also, anyone who comes into our nation has to self isolate for 14 days and you will be fined if you don't. Very welcoming! lol!
Barbara (Los Angeles)
In what universe does the CDC think that people can go without pay for 2 months. If they can’t develop a simple test then get off their tushes and buy them. The NYT published an article about two sisters - and gave graphic details of the death. How many people are further terrified without real knowledge? As a scientist I am appalled at the idiotic, irresponsible, and riot inducing garbage churned out by the “media”.The collective amnesia forgets Zika, H2N2, the Hong Kong fly and polio. One can only hope that the world experts have this under control but so seriously doubt it.
Rod (Melbourne)
How many times can the Fed jizz the economy before it ends up impotent?
CacaMera (NYC)
I'm watching previously recorded Face The Nation. So you got this female reporter up in New Rochelle, mic in hand she stops a car. Middle aged driver rolls window down, a female next to him. Reporter leans real close to the guy and ask questions. Her face is no more than 20 inches from his, she is not wearing a mask and this is the hotbed of the outbreak. I wanted to see if the wife in passenger seat sneezed how she would react, but no such luck. Now, a guy watching that may take his healthy daughter to a Father Daughter dance, because, you know, he "didn't want her to miss it". The other daughter is home quarantined, after a trip to Italy. And yes, she tested positive and was told to quarantine. Father claims the rest of the family wasn't told. Who knows, that happened in Missouri. Now taxpayers are shouldering police protection apparently, because the mob may lynch them. Really.
PATRICK (In a Thoughtful State)
I'm convinced planes may be spreading the virus from exhausted cabin air in the pressurized likely air exchange systems. All plane exhaust ports must be retrofitted with filtering and ultraviolet lights to kill any germs being emitted while in flight.
Corona Virus tracker (US)
Corporate socialism is a birthright! Healthcare is not.
Nycgal (New York)
ER doctor in his 40’s is in critical condition from covid19. That’s a huge warning to us all that this virus is not only most dangerous to those over 60 but it’s most dangerous to all of us. Stay in and stay away from each other.
Joyce (North Carolina)
Two young doctors so far.
Dr.MD (California)
@Nycgal In France most ICU patients admitted with Coivid-19 are younger than 60 y/o
AvalonsGifts (Michigan)
Perhaps CDC should be looking at possible reinfection. There are cases of those who recovered from the virus and still test positive well after their recovery.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
No CEO in any company would survive such a display of reckless incompetence. Can America have an urgent shareholder meeting to discuss his future? No? The great businessman is spared the consequences of his appalling performance as CEO of the United States? I thought it was a capitalist country.
MSPWEHO (West Hollywood, CA)
Thank God! No more blasted Trump rallies for the foreseeable future.
CacaMera (NYC)
Mr. Mayor, thank you for closing restaurants and bars, but we need gyms closed too. They are a cesspool of germs and viruses during good times, what do you think they are now?
YMR (Asheville, NC)
From the WaPO article of May 10, 2018 NSC spokesman Robert Palladino said Wednesday the administration “remains committed to global health, global health security and biodefense, and will continue to address these issues with the same resolve under the new structure.” Really.
Ellen (Indianapolis)
Read or listen to Sunday's Daily article. You, too, can feel some endorphins for a change.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
Who knew that when he accused the father of Ted Cruz of being involved with the assassination of JFK that a Trump presidency might not end well?
@Bob Guthrie ha! good one.
Donald Matson (Orlando)
Why were older people so resilient to the Spanish Flu, the 1918 pandemic? While countries around the world call for quarantine and self confinement to fight the COVID19 epidemic/pandemic, it might NOT be such a good idea for humans to stop the natural spread of these viruses. “The research literature suggests that this was the case because older people had lived through an earlier flu outbreak “ Something to think about and talk about and debate BEFORE quarantining entire countries and causing mass hysteria and worldwide economic ruin.
Dot (Chicago)
@Donald Matson Wow. Talk about misguided. We have finite treatment resources. We know that a rapid uncontrolled spread will take us beyond those resources. So let's just ignore that fact, because people don't want to be inconvenienced? When it's your family member who could survive with treatment but can't get that treatment, maybe then, when it's too late, you can start to comprehend what "flatten the curve" is really about.
CK (Christchurch NZ)
In New Zealand gatherings of over 500 people are banned; schools and universities are exempt. Kiwis are inventive and there's lots of articles in the nz herald, and RNZ news, on what schools are doing to stay virus free and coronavirus prevention, so keep an eye on our news and apply to NY.
SK (Ca)
The announcement of lockdown was made in Jam 23,2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province (population 60 millions) by the Chinese government. The current confirmed cases 3/15/2020 are 67798, death 3079 and mortality rate 4.5%. The other countries outside China with population 60 millions people are, Italy has 24747 confirmed cases, death 1809 and mortality rate 7.3%. South Korea has 8162 confirmed cases, death 75 and mortality rate 0.9%. The drastic difference in terms of number of cases, deaths and therefore the ultimate outcome death rate are attributed to South Korea ability to carry out the massive surveillance campaign (over 200,000 tests). One of the Biomedical companies in South Korea Seegene is able to make a diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus in 3 weeks after the RNA genes sequence being published January 9 in the international's data base. This tool allows the health officials to isolate the infected patients and quarantine the contacts to prevent further transmission. I hope I am not oversimplified the public health operations and their efforts. United States are 6-8 weeks behind other countries in terms of case tracing and surveillance. The confirmed cases as of today are 3499, death 65 and mortality rate 1.8 %. But US have 330 millions people compare the above 3 locations. The number of infections and deaths will be revealed in next several weeks when the diagnostic test kits become more widely available.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
At this point Trump is just trying to stay out of prison by staying in the WH. As we all know he is protected only by his presidency.
Carlyle T. (New York City)
This is a not a law only advisory ,right? If this takes as law, large supermarkets will have long lines where people may cough in each others face.
AnnaGioCian (Italy)
The European States close their borders and do not help Italy. This is against any regulation or law of the European Union. What about the Schengen space. Is Italy being considered as the last country of Europe? Is there any response from the EU Commission Presidency? Is the EU being dissolved?. These are the questions that require a global answer.
Martin (Milan, Italy)
@AnnaGioCian Every country is doing the best they can, they all will be faced with the same problem as Italy very soon. The EU has just said that a sharing of ressources must be put in place for the countries that need it.
jkmartin (Oregon)
People, It is a matter of numbers, it does matter who in in your population it will affect. Based on numbers, first and most vulnerable, it will affect your elderly. Based on all models, this is a fact. For those not elderly but aged, with risk factors, you may survive through an encounter in a longer term stay in ICU, how many days in ICU? How many ICU beds in your area? Based on numbers out of China, if you are admitted to ICU with this disease, your likelihood of surviving is less. Let’s try to keep all of us healthy and out of ICU.
CK (Christchurch NZ)
Our government isn't mincing words; our PM said there will be a health and financial recession that will be worse than that of 2008 for NZ. Some people are saying we are already in a recession. I'm wondering if China is deliberately doing this to the western world as apparently they have seen a miraculous slow down in cases; well, if that's the case why aren't all the workers back at work and export and import orders resuming. This is being caused by the western worlds reliance on Chinese imports and exports. The focus should be on China and not the sharemarket.
8 weeks is overkill and will break many businesses. Realize that we have had 60 deaths, 60. I know it is going to grow but it does not call for a shut down of the economy. There are 347 Million of us and we have 60 cases. I agree with flattening the curve but this is just ridiculous. Media points to Italy - we are not Italy. Italy has 60 million people and has 27,000 co19 cases, 1800 deaths as of today. They've been dealing with this officially for about 3 weeks but Italy now realizes the virus had gone undetected for months prior (per Time Mag) and was the unknown CO19 was creating a surge of pneumonia cases during the peak of their flu season. They assumed it was the flu. With many people reporting symptoms but no idea what they were dealing with, the spread occurred unknowingly inside the hospitals where the sickest people were and when they sent people home, unsuspecting back to their communities. They did not have a clue what was hitting them when it first happened and did not push the sanitation, washing and social distancing as we have. They also have one of the oldest populations on the planet. In the USA we have 376 Million people and there are 3,500 cases and 62 deaths. I KNOW this number is going to grow, but we cannot shut down the US economy and ruin Hundreds of Millions of peoples lives in the process. Time's article is called Why is the Coronavirus Outbreak so bad in Italy? My numbers come from Johns Hopkins site.
Martin (Milan, Italy)
@JB 60 deaths become several hundreds just two weeks later, so even by putting in place this limits now, we know that hundreds deaths will happen in two weeks. And if we don't put limits in place, those hundreds can become thousands per day in just a few more weeks. Governments have no other choice. "did not push the sanitation, washing and social distancing as we have. " that is not true. Three weeks ago, Italy put restrictions in place much more severe than what are in place NOW in the US. Knowing that the US are only 11 days late compared to Italy in the epidemic, that means that US are extremely late in putting measures in place to limit population movement and gathering. It's a disaster in the making. In just 10 days, the US will have much more daily cases than Italy. In one month, it could be a disaster.
Dr.MD (California)
@JB Imagine that hospitals are overwhelmed with admissions and your loved one can not get admitted for stroke, heart attack or other reason.Imagine that healthcare workers are decimated and they will not be able to take care of you or your family.It isn't hard think to do!
A (Denver, CO)
@JB Are you advocating for an increase in deaths? Would you prefer this to be worse before we take precautions or would you prefer we take precaution now and slow if not halt the number of deaths as well as alleviate the overgrowing pressure on the medical system for the those who do and do not have the virus? What about precaution seems like a bad idea? Unless you are 102 or older none of us have lived through a pandemic like this and we are trying our best to make sure our actions and decisions now are with the health and safety of the people, if you are worried about local businesses why not encourage others to support them instead of encouraging our overburdened health care to the admission of more patients and more deaths.
Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma (Jaipur, India.)
With disrupted global production and supply chain impacting both the demand/supply cycle and the coronavirus induced redtrictions and lock downs pushing the global economy to the brink of recession, the monerary easing policy stance of the Federal reserve is not only counterproductive but likely to benefit the corporates at the cost of the common man, already struggling with income squeez and the opportunity loss.
R Harrington (Charleston SC)
@Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma Sadly, Trump/GOP are always very supportive of anything beneficial to corporations rather than the common person.
Tobias W. (Seattle)
Sanders: “Let’s be honest and understand that this coronavirus pandemic exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system,” he said. I do not agree and I do think it's a bit shabby to argue this way. No single health care system in the world is equipped to deal with a pandemic virus that results in infections almost doubling every day and requiring hospitalized treatment for ~15% of lab confirmed cases. No health care system, no matter how well equipped and functional can scale up to treating tens of thousands and probably much more in intensive care and isolation - and neither should it because that would be unreasonably expensive and a waste of resources that are better spent elsewhere. It is about flattening the curve, not the ability of a health care system to scale up as the epidemic grows exponentially.
Jules N. Binoculars (nyc)
a healthcare "system" in which a large percentage of people are uninsured and do not have the means to even see a doctor when they are ill ensures that people will avoid doing so until it may be too late. if they have covid-19, they will have already spread it to many others by that point.
Martin (Milan, Italy)
@Tobias W. Well, health systems that offer paid sick leave to all and easily cover all costs, and do not inflate those costs, necessarily work much better. What I am describing is every single developed country in the world, except the USA. Your terrible healthcare system will make this crisis much worse. It's inevitable.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
@Tobias W. No. The US Health care system is the worst in the developed world in terms of looking after the citizens. Great for middlemen though who profiteer off the suffering's of average Americans.
Are we not having a health crisis and not a financial one? Supply chains are not functioning normal. People are staying home. Schools are closing. Hotels, restaurants and bars having minimal traffic. How does the cut in interest rate help? I would think twice to spend at this time. The priority should be to address the spread of this epidemic and help restore normalcy.
Tobias W. (Seattle)
@CITIZEN Business and households have financial obligations they cannot cut. Rents need to be paid, salaries need to be paid, mortgages need to be paid. These obligations don't go away. Cutting the interest rate will allow households and businesses to meet their financial obligations through borrowing, as loans will become readily available at close to no cost. I am actually looking forward to re-financing my mortgage at much lower interest rates than what I am currently paying in my 30 year fixed loan. I will likely safe several hundred thousands.
Gabby B. (Green Valley, AZ)
@Tobias W., if you are going to save “likely several hundred thousands” by refinancing your mortgage, then you have zero understanding of what @CITIZEN is commenting about. There are staggering amounts of your fellow citizens who are both food and housing insecure. They’re hardly at home celebrating a drop in the fed rate when they’re wondering how they are going to feed their family and pay the rent when they have no money due to their work hours being cut or their jobs disappearing entirely. My family is fortunate; we have food in the fridge, health insurance and can pay our debts, so we’ll get through this. Most of us are keenly aware of those around us who were barely keeping their heads above water before this started. And I don’t begrudge your good fortune at all but for the sake of those whose fears of financial catastrophe are very real, keep the gloating to yourself.
Matt Andersson (Chicago)
The C.D.C. continues to display an institutional ignorance or disregard of virus propagation logic and networks, or in random propagation mechanics that are not network based. What is fascinating is that the somewhat sophisticated "spread" modeling that was run before the program was released, depends on a social network or "social viral" effect for its expected changes in mass behavior. Otherwise, closing schools, restaurants, sporting events, universities, businesses, air travel and a hundred other physical gathering and proximity opportunities, will have no effect on the assumed epidemiology, but it will reinforce and condition authority compliance necessary to the virus program's success, and in social control, in part by isolation and segregation pretext. The programmatic basis of the virus program is so obvious that it should invoke mass resistance, which at some point it will.
F1Driver (Los Angeles)
And this is prececisely why government agencies should yield to the private sector In an attempt to centralize information, the CDC tried to conduct testing and data gathering. These burdensome regulations should have given way for the private sector to do both, testing and data collection. Precious weeks were lost in the process. But here we are, let's move forward, we're going to beat this. As a nation, we are built for these type of situations.' Trump was correct, centralized agencies with a myriad of convoluted regulations are impediments and the Covid-19 crystalized this point.
J Anders (Oregon)
@F1Driver 1) Trump fired the entire CDC Infectious Disease Prevention team in 2018. 2) He has cut CDC's budget at least 19% every year he's been in office (with a proposed 23% cut for FY 2021.) 3) The whole "Obama's regulations kept me from doing a good job" is smoke and mirrors. 4) The CDC gave a sole-source contract to a private sector company Trump had (has?) a financial interest in to produce their tests. The result was utter failure. Meanwhile, social democracies like Germany and France and South Korea are far ahead of our "free market" system in caring for their people.
F1Driver (Los Angeles)
@J Anders "1) Trump fired the entire CDC Infectious Disease Prevention team in 2018." And deservingly so! The performance they demonstrated during the last two weeks leaves much to be desired. The end result if these people remained in place would have been more people having something to say and additional signatures to collect to take a course of action. The private sector is required to be involved in this type of effort. We've done it before. All auto companies were heavily involved in producing weapons during WWII for example.
xyz (nyc)
actually Austria is much further ahead than the two European countries you mentioned.
Richard Guha (Weston,CT)
Currently in Australia, returning on Thursday via large aircraft and crowded airports. Once I get home, I will stay there. I fully expect virtually all international, and much domestic, travel to stop in a few weeks, and remain so for months. Even those who do not get ill will struggle to work, eat and retain shelter. Duration may be more damaging than immediate damage.
CK (Christchurch NZ)
Our government has cut interest rates as well. Just piling on more debt isn't the answer to a world that is awash with debt. All the big banks seem to have plenty of capital and everyone else is just piling on more debt and getting hardly anything for having their money in the bank. The only winners in all this are the banks. Thank goodness we don't have a large population so people will still be able to congregate in groups of 50. Lots of worldwide billionaires are eyeing up bolt holes in NZ according to a real estate article and if they can't buy are renting luxury housing and flying themselves and their families out here on private jets. Some billionaire whose decided to stay in NZ during all this said the best thing our government can do is close the borders then he wouldn't have to go back to the USA.
Charles Becker (Perplexed)
@CK, "...a world that is awash with debt..." By definition, a world awash in debt is == (exactly equal to) a world awash in currency. As the nursery rhyme goes, "You can't have one without the other".
Hal (NY)
My workplace is a gathering of 50 or more (more like 350 people in one very large room.) I'm thinking we should be working from home.
RXA (Princeton, NJ)
Downsizing of CDC in 2018, plus unnecessary ego to not listen to anyone, our leader has thrown us into the same territory as that of Italy and Spain. Despite being one of the most resourceful country which invests disproportionately more in research than anyone else, we could have learnt from HK, Singapore, Taiwan, but alas, one person’s ego has unleashed this catastrophe.
Old Bat (Planet Earth)
It will take the US economy 20 years to recover from this. All my friends are about to retire. We all used to joke about a stock market crash erasing our savings, living under the overpass in cardboard boxes. Nobody’s joking now.
mcgowan (Santa Fe)
Now, they say groups of 50 but no more? This is a contradiction to scientific recommendations. They are trying to pacify us as a consumer society and kill us at the same time. They want us to spend money.
Charles Becker (Perplexed)
@mcgowan, Italy? Spain? France? They're all in on this? All of Europe? Every advanced economy?
J Anders (Oregon)
HHS says "nearly 2 million tests will be available this week". What happened to the 4 million we were supposed to get 2 weeks ago?
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@J Anders Another example of the flawed arithmetic that Trumpster and his band of sociopathic sychophants use to mislead the public (aka us), to yank around hopes and expectations, and to increase chaos; so they presumably may assert their control. They are not to be trusted and nothing ...nothing ...regardless if it sounds favorable or unfavorable should be regarded as anything but false rumors and misleading propaganda.
Maria Holland (Washington DC)
Interesting to note that on Friday there was no testing whatsover at Dulles airport in DC - flying on from Europe.
riley (texas)
US Peace Corp volunteers are now at the start of evacuating from every country in the world. My granddaughter is in Columbia as a volunteer and they have now instructed all of them to grab emergency clothing and gear only and get ready to move. At first they told my granddaughter that they would be moved to the interior of Columbia. It now appears they will be trying to bring all of the Peace Corp volunteers back to America.
PATRICK (In a Thoughtful State)
I learned this past year, the importance of always having meals planned ahead and stored in the refrigerator or canned. When you are sick, you need ready to eat meals.
ellienyc (New York city)
Yes. I do a certain amount of that too, so rarely have an empty cupboard. However, I keep getting this message I'm supposed to have more. I go to the store (if I can get in) I see people with huge piles of stuff. 24 rolls of toilet paper, 12 bottles of pasta sauce, 12 packages of frozen potstickers
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
ever wonder what the global .001 percent talk about at Davos every year. this from their 2008 confab...I'm sure it is all a coincidence. Italy Demographic shifts • Italy is being severely hit by population ageing; it has one of the lowest fertility rates (1.4 in 2007) and one of the highest life expectancies (about 78.6 years for men and 84.1 years for women) in the world. • The ageing of Italy’s population has significant implications for the economy and for public finances as it translatesinto significant labour shortages, slower long-term growth and increased strain on public expenditures. Key challenges • The Italian public pension system is expensive and reform is slow. Protecting the current and imminent retiree populations will place the majority of the burden on younger generations. • Italy faces a struggle to finance future long-term care needs, with increased demand and concerns over the availability of human resources and the role and status of informal careers. • Rapidly rising healthcare costs are straining the ability of individuals, families, employers and the government to sustainably finance adequate levels of care. A rise in chronic and new infectious diseases exacerbates the problem. The Future of Pensions and Healthcare in a Rapidly Ageing World Scenarios to 2030 https://www.weforum.org/reports/future-pensions-and-healthcare-rapidly-ageing-world-scenarios-2030
chris (chicago)
"I try not to think about it, and just want to have fun." A quote of someone asked about covid 19 yesterday while participating in a bar crawl. This is why the US, in my opinion, will be worse off than Italy.
Martha (Northfield, MA)
And this attitude, typical of so many youth today, doesn't say much for the ability of Americans to act in a collectively responsible, mature way, which we really need to do in order to effectively deal with this.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@chris We must ignore and resist the foolish talk and dysfunctional behaviors and act and prepare to take action and responsibility to care for ourselves, our families, and, last and least the irresponsible people who may prove to be the most dangerous vectors for spreading COVID 19. They are humans too, and may infect many innocent victims as our POTUS has behaved to make matters worse and not better.
European perspective (Helsinki)
Wise desission to limit large gatherings. This can really help to slow down the spread of the new virus. Churches, sport events and large parties have all been shown to be major boosters in other countries in the spread for corona. Hopefully US did not wake up too late for the crisis as late as last week US tourists were still on holidays in Italy and Spain even both countries already had thousands of confirmed corona cases. The virus after all has over 12 day period, when it does not show symptoms.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@European perspective I presume these draconian behaviors will slow but not stop the spread of COVID 19. By slowing the infection rate, medical personal and basic suppliers (grocery stores and other business supporting basic life needs and requirements) may handle those that are and become ill. Stretching the work over a longer time period, so it isn't all bunched up together and bottle necks attempts to cope with it.
Observer (Washington, D.C.)
It wouldn't be much different with Biden in there. We need real change. We need Bernie!
PAUL FEINER (greenburgh)
I think the time has come for the President and Governor to take extreme action--close down the state and nation for two weeks. Better to be inconvenienced for two weeks than have a million deaths. Close the Mario Cuomo bridge to non emergency traffic, close the George Washington bridge and all other bridges. Only after China took extreme measures did the virus in China get under control. By limiting interactions between people we will be able to prevent widespread deaths. People are starting to panic because only half measures are being taken. PAUL FEINER Greenburgh NY Town Supervisor
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@PAUL FEINER Mr. Feiner, Do you have hard data to support your suggestions? I am skeptical of any stories coming out of or regarding China. So much misinformation and confusion combining false Chinese propaganda and rumors.... I do agree that limiting physical contact may slow the transmission of the virus from person to person. You and I may be prepared for a two week seige, but I wonder about "most people's" ability to live entirely on their own without access to groceries, medical care, and other necessities of life. Plus public utitilies = water, electricity, oil & nat'l gas, fuel for vehicles, etc. must be attended to 24/7. How about the people that perform those important tasks? To me it seems realistic to slow the infection rate (aka the spread) of COVID 19. But, eventually nearly the entire human population will be exposed to it and, hopefully, with medical and self-care will survive. Let's figure out how we may cooperate to help one another and not hunker down and sicken and die alone and neglected. Keeping our hope and spirits up may be as important as medical attention ...except of those of us who have already compromised immune systems or already have other maladies that weaken resistance to this nasty virus.
PAUL FEINER (greenburgh)
@A E Gelsthorpe I believe that some exceptions need to be made- obviously people need supermarkets for food , pharmacies. But we need to do much more to slow down the infection rate. We're probably going to keep escalating the restrictions. Do it all at once would save lives. PAUL FEINER
Dot (Chicago)
@PAUL FEINER Two weeks isn't enough to really cut it off.
VLA (Tucson)
‘Beware the Ides of March’,* we recall, As the Coronavirus consumes US all. We dare not gather as we please, In fear of a hiccup, a cough, or a sneeze. We’re greeted by knuckle-bump, elbow or boot, In some cases maybe a formal salute. Things are on hold across our great nation, As we wait for an end to this strange infestation. *Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’
Jim Brokaw (California)
The Fed cuts rates to zero percent. Trump says he's "very happy". The stock futures plunge. Because nothing quite says "the economy is in great danger of a recession" like a Sunday zero-percent emergency rate cut. Trump - the Fed is 'out of bullets' now... what are *you* going to do? What are *you* going to take to Congress to revive the economy? What "leadership" are *you* going to show, to prove that it isn't Speaker Pelosi and Mnuchin leading the way, it is Trump? Oh, and Trump - why weren't we testing widely, tens of thousands of tests a day, at the end of January? Hmmm?
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@Jim Brokaw The problems we face are not economic malaise. Our problems (including COVID 19) are exacerbated by the institutions and people who spend more money than they earn or collect in revenues or income. What about the POTUS that won't take responsibility for or face the consequences of his mismanagement? As in the "King's clothes" fairy tale, he is propped up by sychophants and incompetents. I expect to hear about more of his baseless accusations directed towards other people ... as he uses his presidential soapbox to distract the population from reality. I only hope we may survive long enough to cast our votes in November and to upgrade and to improve our lot (and the world's human survival) after the January 2021 inauguration.
Dot (Chicago)
@Jim Brokaw Stock futures plunged after the rate cut because Trump's focus on the wrong things once again showed that he is incapable of leading this country through a pandemic.
Martha (Northfield, MA)
How are supermarkets and grocery stores in New York going to deal with mobs of people clamoring to buy food and cleaning out the shelves next week?
CacaMera (NYC)
@Martha Instacart and other similar services. Hopefully, they will be tipped well. The shopper doesn't care if the item is procured or not, because has no personal stake. We don't do mob scene here.
Weiler (Tx)
Trump is so in over his head. None of his supporters are willing to admit this but facts are facts. The man declared bankruptcy not one, not two, not three but four times! Might America be his swan song with number five!
CK (Christchurch NZ)
The problem is that is election year and government wants to be everything to everyone to get votes and back in power. Unfortunately once the election are over the rot will set in.
Dixie (Deep South)
I know this isn’t an advice column but what do readers think about canceling my daughters wedding May 2!? 150 people. Medium size church with dancing and food. Feeling downhearted. Thanks in Advance
Blake (New York)
I think better to postpone now and give people notice. I think May 3 is very optimistic too be able to hold a gathering like that. Congratulations to your daughter. It will be a beautiful day whenever it takes place!
@Dixie - I think wait two weeks and see where we are with this. I hope you don't have to cancel. You can have fun with hand sanitizers. People CAN be responsible and limit contact. We are all much more responsible than we are being given credit for. For some context look at the Corona numbers on the John Hopkins site. Check it each day and you will see we are going to slow this thing down fast. Hand washing alone is going to do wonders, not to mention all the other drastic steps being taken. Hang in there .
Dot (Chicago)
@Dixie I would postpone. Even if businesses and schools have returned to normal by that time, I assume you probably have elderly family members you would like to be able to attend and it will still be a risky time for them to be at a function like that.
SK (Ca)
When Trump being asked by a reporter whether he is responsible for dismantling the pandemic preparedness position in press conference on 3/13, Trump said, " This is a nasty question. I am not taking any responsibility for that ". If anyone going to vote for Trump in Nov 2020 or any republicans for that matter, you are voting for your own peril.
Robert (Out west)
Too many people have less than zero idea what a hospital—even a field hospital—is, and spent too much time sneering at the conceot of paying, and planning, for such disasters.
J Anders (Oregon)
Trump 2018: We don't need that NSC Infectious Disease Prevention team. Trust me! Trump 2020: We don't need to tell the banks how much to keep in reserve. Trust me!
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@J Anders I enjoy reading your missives and am gratified by your keen insights. As in Lincoln's Gettysburg address, you are a person of profound observations that consolidate your ideas into brief and easy to understand aka "digestible" statements. Keep up your good work.
Herr Fischer (Brooklyn)
Are we not going to talk about the lack of basic hygiene at China's wet markets, as well as so many other open air markets in many countries that have no stringent health inspections. After Sars and Covid19 it is only a question of time until the next pandemic.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Herr Fischer The 1968 flu epidemic began in Kansas. Although this scenario of a virus arising from human/animal interaction has been epidemiologists' worst nightmare for years. Apparently our Flat-Earther in Chief thought it was okay to get rid of the NSC's Infectious Disease Prevention team in 2018, though. To, you know, curb over-regulation and waste.
Nancy (Michigan)
@Herr Fischer After this, China may alter the markets to reduce possibilities. However, that will not stop the random assortment that can become a pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 began on the North American continent in rural Mexico. It appears to have had a combination of Eurasian and North American genes. Over 18,000 confirmed fatalities occurred. Wildlife everywhere acts as reservoirs for all types of viruses. I don't think humans will every be rid of them and pandemics will continue to effect humankind.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@J Anders Another keen insight. After all, there wasn't any pandemic in 2018, so the team wasn't necessary, eh? Looking ahead for one or two years would have been too long a stretch of time for the Trumpster and his gang of misanthropes to digest. It appears they live only in the moment. No past, no future (literally).
Nycgal (New York)
There’s risk to ordering in or take out. Restaurant food preparation and our consumption of it is risky now. Handle your own food at home. Stay in and stay away from others. The virus can live on objects for days according to health officials. So that take out container could be delivered to your door with the virus on it. Not to mention the food inside the container was handled by someone and now it’s yours sight unseen. I’m not being an alarmist, just cautious.
Carlyle T. (New York City)
@Nycgal Having worked in restaurants decades ago a sneeze on someone's food from a cook or server never stopped that meal from being delivered .
Thomas Givnish (Madison, Wisconsin)
Just limiting individual meetings to a certain size is NOT enough. What would happen if everyone met everyone, alone, face-to-face, with only two people in the room at the same time? It would be the same (or, indeed, worse) as putting everyone in the same room at the same time. So, fine, limit crowd size. But also: advise everyone that they should limit the total number of meetings permitted to perhaps, say, no more than 20 per week.
Joe (California)
I see many comments from folks who are very ready to shutter millions of businesses involuntarily and who seem to think that they will only be gone temporarily. What makes people believe that after 2 or more months out of business, however, any of these shuttered enterprises will still be viable concerns? Who will be ready to invest in a chain of bars, restaurants, hotels, or gyms if they are all forced utterly to shut down for months on end, and their millions of employees put out of work, with no work available elsewhere because the whole industry is gone, and quite possibly into homelessness, perhaps with their children? I hope folks who are working remotely enjoyed their dance schools, gyms, eateries, and circus shows while they were here. Without understanding and sensitivity regarding the ramifications of simply shutting all the doors on entire industries, investor risk aversion will go through the roof into the foreseeable future. And then these enterprises won't be back anytime soon afterward. They'll go the way of the Big Band era, of the grand hotels, of the great trains -- gone. Which is bad news for the majority of Americans who remain overweight or obese, and who are growing more so, and who in many cases are overworked, stressed, and starving for meaningful social interaction. But they can all just work out at home, right? And destress on their own. And party with themselves, right before hopping back on the work computer. Good luck with that.
John (New York)
@Joe The federal government is usually good at Corporate assistance/welfare (see 2008 when we taxpayers bailed out Wall Street for taking risky bets). So, don't you worry. Trump will first do everything he can to avoid a lockdown and, if that happens, will probably throw another few trillion on our national debt to save businesses. Help the business entity, yes. But the employees, no way. Let them starve, or eat cake. Imagine if he had just let the CDC pandemic preparedness division continue to operate? That would have saved lives and money....but would have diverted much needed money for tax breaks for the super-wealthy.
Rod (Melbourne)
If they don’t shutter businesses and enforce nationwide lockdown then it increases the chances of the virus killing a million Americans.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Joe My fear is that the GOP has swung too far right to even support Hoovervilles now.
John (New York)
The best health outcomes are at complete odds with the best economic outcomes. We have a president who is downplaying the former because all he cares about is the latter so he can be re-elected. It is a tragic state of affairs.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@John Ironic, eh? I wonder how the voter turnout of sick, unemployed & recently impoverished people might be. I suspect Trumpster and his sychophants expect them to nurse their wounds and be "too lazy" to register and/ or to vote for anyone. If COVID 19 doesn't get them, the Trumpster will? I expect as they did with Russian assistance, Trumpster et al will attempt another election theft borne primarily (but not entirely) by the embittered people who are too confused and mislead to vote in their own self-interest. Instead, they follow the instructions of Fox & Trumpster and unwittingly destroy themselves and our national culture.
Susanna (United States)
There should be separate facilities established strictly dedicated to the care of virus patients. Placing these patients in community hospitals puts everyone else at risk...including healthcare workers...and prevents all other patients from receiving vital and timely healthcare. I read that a woman with cancer had her surgery indefinitely postponed because priority is now given to virus patients. This is unconscionable!
PATRICK (In a Thoughtful State)
As we followed the news since January, we learned what an excellent job China did in saving many of it's citizens. As you do, I adore freedom and minimal government domination of our lives, but the fact remains that any government is a centralized body of leaders and resources to coordinate the needs and welfare of it's citizens. So we must rely on the better judgement of government medical professionals to lead the nation simply as a means of saving lives by the thousands. We should obey and practice their advice and directives simply to stay alive.
Art (Manhattan)
I see that the Utah Jazz apparently had no trouble getting their players tested for coronavirus and the NBA had no problem getting a referee tested before the recent issuance of new CDC standards, and in the absence of any symptoms. Meanwhile, I understand that the occupants of the Washington nursing home where there has been a significant outbreak were not tested. It's possible that I am ill informed on the facts , so if anyone has accurate information on why these athletes were able to be tested I'd be interested in hearing it.
Zejee (Bronx)
I was wondering about that.
Josef K. (Steinbruch, USA)
This is the USA. Money talks
B Wells (Statesboro,GA)
Lowering interest rates for the second time in less than 2 weeks neither stabilizes nor stimulates markets. It indicates panic on behalf of the Fed and suggests a reaction to political pressure. neither are good looks for the Fed.
J Anders (Oregon)
Note that whenever Trump and Pence are asked about testing, they pivot to talking about lab capacity. There has never been a backlog at the labs, because there aren't any kits to test. The reporters need to follow up and make T/P answer the question they were asked. Also ask why all meetings and briefings of HHS (of which the CDC is a sub-agency) have been made classified.
jkmartin (Oregon)
I see you are also from Oregon and I see many other posters from Oregon. As one state in the Union, between Washington and California, for weeks I have been dismayed and disappointed, regarding leadership in Oregon. We are but one state but a poor example of how to respond to a national health crisis.
Far from home (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
I'm in Thailand. I've had my temperature taken 4 times already--twice at airports, once at a shopping mall and once getting off a ferry. No craziness, no lines. And having used the Thai medical system for years, I have way more faith that if I do get sick, it will be handled extremely competently with kindness. Thailand is still listed as "Third World," and the US? I don't even know how to classify it anymore.
Jack (Middletown, Connecticut)
All the empty college campuses and their dorm rooms should be set up as potential hospitals to take the overflow of patients. I work for he US Government, we should be put to work getting places like this ready to take on patients. Nothing I do as a Federal employee is as important as this potential disaster. We Feds will waste this coming week documenting our Telework agreements. Use the Federal employees to get college campuses ready to be hospitals.
Garbolity (Rare Earth)
Not impossible. But; Who will staff these places; who will stock them? Etc; Not as simple as sounds. But I do appreciate much that you want to make a positive contribution. Might be a good place to house the homeless for now, especially those in quarantine. Better than keeping them in hospital.
Victoria Kennedy (San Francisco)
@Jack I think this could be the plan; I live in San Francisco and went to Stanford; the dorms that are now empty are perfectly fit to serve as emergency hospital beds; and being right near Stanford hospital and other hospitals is perfect. Other schools like the San Francisco Art institute which is closing thru May, could allow its student housing ( an entire downtown building) to be used if necessary to house infected patients.
jkmartin (Oregon)
If you read Governor Cuomo’s op-Ed in NYT today, many scenarios available, starting with US Army Corps of Engineers starting operations to use facilities including college dormitories as medical facilities. This is smart because it does not detract from active military readiness in the event that a ‘bad actor (s) might utilize this time to try and exploit weaknesses in our active military.
Travis ` (NYC)
The economic policy behind this from the Treasury to the Fed to the White house should all resign. This is a madness fiscal policy that creates a fire out of a ember an then goes about trying to extinguish it with gasoline. All this shows is true desperation on Wall street when patience and caution are called for. So now I know there is nothing in the pantry you just told me through lashing all the rates that the cupboards are bare. I know when Treasury Stevie, sent that letter around to the banks last year asking if they had enough money to lend around that we would see that none of these Equity Firm Emperors have no cloths. They are not prepared at all, they all have massive debts and nothing saved.
iflytoo (Idaho)
I'm sure glad we can bale out all of these companies that have been spending billions of dollars buying back there stock.
M (California)
So it looks like nationally, and globally, we can mount coordinated responses to crises that significantly put the public at risk. Why nothing like this about climate change?
J Anders (Oregon)
@M Have we shown that we can mount a coordinated response to this crisis? If so, please tell me where to look.
CacaMera (NYC)
Boy do I wish Elizabeth Warren was in the White House right now. A competent, capable, brilliant doer who cares for everyone. Too bad others didn't see it the same way.
J Anders (Oregon)
@CacaMera I was just wondering (probably as you were typing this comment) whether Warren can be both VP and head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Because she should certainly be the latter if she can't be both.
clarity007 (tucson, AZ)
Vegas bet of the decade. Will COVID19 (2020-2021) deaths exceed those of H1N1 (2009-2010). Over or under on 13,000. H1N1 killed 13,000 Americans despite an aggressive campaign by the Obama administration to manage the outbreak. Approximately 60,000 were infected. The current Trump administration is a bit handicapped as older Americans had broad immunity to the virus do to a previous mutant infestation. 80% plus of H1N1 mortality were Americans under 60, furthermore there were treatments available. Nevertheless, the under 13,000 may be an attractive option because of a very aggressive global response and a reasonable probability warmer weather will have a notable suppression effect on the COVID 19 virus. What is your bet?
RamS (New York)
@clarity007 Yes, under. I think we'll cap out below 10K deaths if we continue to act aggressively. The economic impact will be different.
Matt (Bridgewater, NJ)
@RamS It will be over. We have been tracking almost precisely about two weeks behind Italy, to the number. This has been constant so far. And the recent measures implemented within the last few days came too late. They should have been implemented two weeks ago to have a real effect.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
@clarity007 We know the answer: This will be "the most incredible pandemic response in American history" "We have tremendous people" "We have the best testing kits" "We have the best websites" And most importantly, we have the best Snake Oil Salesman leading us over the cliff.
Derek De Biasio (Vancouver)
Why does the NY Times and other news organizations emphasize in their reporting the "confirmed cases" or simply "cases" (i.e. persons who have tested positive) when reporting Covid-19 levels of infection in the US. The sad irony is that they are also pointing out the dearth of testing in the US at the same time that they communicate the number of tested cases as somehow being the current level of infection in the US (let you in on a little secret, the tested cases do NOT accurately portray the level of infection in the US). Levels of seasonal flu cases are not reported on the basis of persons who have tested positive. The NY Times and other mainstream news outlets should be reporting scientifically estimated Covid-19 cases in the US. that is the "true" number of cases currently in the US. Yes report the number of persons who have tested positive but also report the science-based estimate of the number of persons in the US who are likely infected right now. The folks who want to underplay this epidemic/pandemic much, much prefer this approach of the NY Times and other news organizations playing up the tested case number and much under-reporting or not reporting at all the science-based estimates of the current number of infected persons in the US.
J Anders (Oregon)
I notice that Uber is saying it will provide a tiny bit of paid leave to drivers who test positive for coronavirus. But, hey, if they can't get tested, we're all good, right?
WiltonTraveler (Florida)
We missed an opportunity to halt the shutdown now overtaking us by electing a man so shortsighted and ignorant to the White House that he thought he could just close the borders to wall the threat out. Viruses, like people, find ways around walls. And now our countrymen will pay not only with their lives but also with their livelihoods. In the whole existence of our republic this must be, after the Civil War, our darkest hour.
Mike L (NY)
I know it sounds harsh but how about just having a nationwide 2 week shutdown? Obviously hospitals and most mass transit would have to operate. As well as banks and some other essential businesses. But it seems that if we could do that then it could possibly stop the virus in it’s tracks. Or at least blunt the spread dramatically. I am disappointed and concerned to hear that many bars in NYC were crowded Saturday night. It is extremely irresponsible for people to be going out to crowded bars at this time. It’s very selfish and arrogant.
Taylor (Brooklyn)
It doesn’t sound harsh and I suspect this will be our reality within 3 weeks.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Mike L The problem is, 2 weeks won't be nearly enough. China has been in total lockdown for going on 2 months.
ernie (somewhere west)
Time to cut a hole in the mattress and throw the money in, if you're older like me and trying to save.
kirk (montana)
Thank you republican djt administration for refusing the WHO offer of hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 test 6 weeks ago when we could have used them. You will pay for your incompetence in November.
Zejee (Bronx)
The test kits are being produced by Jared’s company.
karen (Florida)
As far as I'm concerned this virus is way over Trump's head. I'm sure he has been trying to figure out how to make money off of it. We are way better off encouraging him to play golf and do his nasty tweeting than allowing him to speak. He is a constant source of embarressment!!!
Jack (Middletown, Connecticut)
Pence outside of kissing up to Trump actually is somewhat calming. Trump will get jealous and can him.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Jack But the question is, does coronavirus conversion therapy actually work?
Harvey (Chennai)
Were Trump not a moron, he would eliminate the tarrifs. China is already getting back to work and we need the stuff they make. If anything can calm the markets it would be a ceasefire in the trade war.
Pray for Help (Connect to the Light)
‘It doesn’t matter.’ ‘We’ll see.’ The Trump Doctrine is sounding more fatalistic every day. [WashPost] It was Feb. 27, 2004, and Donald Trump was on “Larry King Live” to talk about his new hit TV show “The Apprentice.” Eight episodes had already aired — including one titled “Ethics Shmethics” — and the real estate mogul seemed pleased to gab with King about his return to relevance. Near the end of the segment, a caller from Burlington, N.J., asked Trump how he handles stress. “I try and tell myself it doesn’t matter,” Trump replied. “Nothing matters. If you tell yourself it doesn’t matter — like you do shows, you do this, you do that, and then you have earthquakes in India where 400,000 people get killed. Honestly, it doesn’t matter.”
Matt (Bridgewater, NJ)
@Pray for Help Sick. Penn Gillette said on the Joe Rogan podcast that Trump doesn't smile, laugh or joke. The only time he laughs is when he says something nasty or hurtful to someone. He is a true sociopath. Did you also see the video of Trump making a "whirring" motion with his finger when he was told that a child was thrown a full block in the Tennessee tornado, after being told the child's parents were killed? He has no empathy. I kind of think that a virus that kills older people is going to be the Republican plan to reduce Medicare and Social Security spending. Half joking, but not really.
Pray for Help (Connect to the Light)
@Matt The warning signs of Malignant Narcissism : 1. Success At Any Cost. A close inspection of past relationships may show a failure to treat people kindly for the promise of a grandiose, yet superficial success. Beware of flaunted expenses, especially if there are a lack of people to share in the enjoyment. 2. Narcissists may be hyper-sexual, often in relation to power and control. Incest is frequently reported as well as a lack of regard for partner and boundaries. 3. Incessant Blaming. Lack of personal responsibility is a key sign. Often a narcissist will play ‘the victim’ even when he/she has hurt someone else. 4. Violence. Since their ego is so fragile to begin with, any criticism received feels like an attack. They fight back much harder than what is doled out. Someone who uses violence frequently, demonstrates lack of impulse control and may also have multiple addictions. 5. Manipulation. Pitting people against one another for the ultimate goal of loyalty is often used by narcissists. In this case, loyalty often means isolation.
Pray for Help (Connect to the Light)
@Matt The Ties Between Crime and Malignant Narcissism[PsychCentral] https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-ties-between-crime-and-malignant-narcissism/
Juleezee (NJ)
What about measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic’s spread? Thank goodness for leadership by star governors, who in most cases undertake the correct measures to both curb the spread and to help people. Those who still ignore or belittle this serious I’ll es as a hoax or such, you know who you are, and shame on you!
Matt (Bridgewater, NJ)
@Juleezee The federal government is only proving its uselessness. When seconds count, Trump and his crew are a few weeks away. I'm still waiting for the million test kits Pence said we would have two weeks ago.
PMD (Arlington, Virginia)
Wall Street knows Trump is a Three-card Monte hustler.
ShipOfFools (Illinois)
Who is this supposed to help?
J Anders (Oregon)
@ShipOfFools The people who funded Trump's "biggest ever" inauguration.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
@ShipOfFools Millionaires, billionaires, large profitable corporations and other wealthy types 'in need'.
neb (sydney)
His response has been so self serving and deceitful that he has threatened the health of thousands of his countrymen and women. He should just go or be impeached. GOP grow a backbone. He is a clear and present danger to the country. His only concern is Wall St.
J Anders (Oregon)
What happened to the annual 6% GDP growth Trump promised if that tax cut passed in 2017?
PATRICK (In a Thoughtful State)
I insist that if the Treasury bails out the lending institutions, that it does so by coincidentally erasing equal amounts of consumer debts as consumer tax payers are where the money is coming from and no bailout to support the economy is complete without erasing a portion of debt in the act of saving the banks.
jkmartin (Oregon)
Just wading in here, among the thousands of comments. Hours earlier, @Will, mentioned concerns regarding ‘bad actors’, that might exploit weaknesses among Americans for their own benefit. I agree, this is no longer a time to pursue partisan politics, we can do that later. Now, it is time to work together to defeat an invisible enemy. As the poster mentioned, when we are “united”, we are stronger. Let’s work together.
ck2530 (Missouri)
I agree with @jkmartin on being united makes us stronger. Let's listen to the doctor and scientists and move forward together!
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@jkmartin. That would be nice, provided that we had a credible uniter. The man in the White House is neither credible nor a uniter. He can't refrain from Twitter attacks for more than six hours.
Instead of rate cuts or payroll tax cuts, you know what would help? Andrew Yang's Universal Basic Income would make a lot of sense right about now. Our household has savings and we can weather the storm/lockdown. But what about those 40% of households who don't even have $400 in emergency funds? What about those hourly workers who work hand to mouth? How will they pay their rent and feed their families, let alone give them adequate healthcare should they be stricken ill? How many small businesses will close? An emergency check for $500 per person would go a long way. At a population of 330 million, that would be $165 billion. That is an order of magnitude less than Trump's $1.5 trillion (!) tax cut of 2017. Think about it.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
@SYJ We need to support the rich. The unrich can wait. "Let them eat coronavirus !" TRUMP-GOP 2020
dairyfarmersdaughter (Washinton)
Exactly how does the Fed slashing interest rates to zero help the average worker who is going to be laid off indefinitely? These people and small businesses aren't going to be in a position to be borrowing money to expand. I guess they might have to borrow to get cash flow to start up again, but really I see this as the Fed caving in to Trump's demands. Once again those that have saved cash for emergencies are penalized by getting zero return on our money. Seeing the hoards of people lined up trying to get back into the country at major airports standing arm pit to arm pit for hours - GEEE that makes a lot of sense! The response to this crises has been bungled from day one. Our economy is going to be in shambles. The DOW futures market is down over 1,000 points after the big announcement. The Fed has used all it's amo - what now????
Martino (SC)
@dairyfarmersdaughter Indeed.. Many people as I type this are in panic mode over finances. My son's gf is a manager of a restaurant in Ohio. 40 people just lost their jobs with no help in sight for them. A tax cut is absolutely meaningless if you're unemployed. Cutting zero from zero doesn't help anyone.
Jo Williams (Keizer)
The Fed eliminated bank reserve requirements. Unbelievable.
Rebecca (Seattle)
I know - that scares me.
Radhika (California)
Amazon prime should step up to supply perishables and non perishables free to above 60 yrs. The rest can go and buy groceries. Will prevent a lot of deaths. BTW I am 43.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@Radhika. Why should the burden be on Amazon to support the 60+ population? Gestures by the private sector are nice, but this is really a societal (meaning governmental) issue.
E. Petey (Ohio)
It might make up for them not paying taxes.
Taylor (Brooklyn)
Why shouldn’t they? Republicans decided long ago that corporations - not the government - should be the ruling body of our society. That they have the same rights as people. Because of this, our government has been ransacked and rendered useless while corporations have amassed sums of cash unlike any the world has seen in its history. Why isn’t it time the private sector stepped up to needs of the people who have afforded it such success, rather than continue to demand they act as the cogs in it’s insatiable grind forward?
John (California)
Good luck. I just passed a corner bar in San Francisco. It was packed with people. Standing room only.
Agent 99 (SC)
@John Are you sure it wasn’t the daily televised covid-19 task force briefing?
Samuel (Seattle)
Trump has been busy for 8 weeks moving the deck chairs (e.g. the market) on the Titanic. It's time to put someone in charge to ensure that 100% of the popluation does not get this thing. We are witnessing a madman. A person too busy looking in the mirror and worrying about his "numbers" to be a leader. November cannot come too fast.
Nurse (Washington State)
"0" 50 to 70, the number of elderly I take care of. 40, the same age as the doctor who is critically ill. 100k the amount of my student loan. I don't care about mortgage rates POTUS, you're obviously a businessman who doesn't care about We The People. If I dont die, I definitely won't be voting for you this year.
Matthew (NJ)
Just keep in mind: "I DON'T TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL". That's what he said.
Matthew (NJ)
@Matthew Correction "I DON'T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL". So I guess it's all good. That's got to be a first for ANY president.
F. Horne (So. Calif.)
Sunday night. Stock market futures are limit down. Another blood bath tomorrow morning. We need a moratorium on stock and index shorting until the authorities get hold of the coronavirus emergency. Otherwise, big money is going to short peoples’ retirement accounts to oblivion, scare people into selling, and pick up the pieces for 50 cents or less on the dollar. At this juncture, let’s don’t put the 401k accounts of this country into a pinball machine. In the long run, shorting is healthy for price discovery; in the short term, shorting (augmented by trend-following machines) will pick the flesh from the bones of people who are already facing an economic debacle.
S. C. (Mclean, VA)
Coronavirus has become a democracy virus. Any countries want to get rid it must restrict civil liberty.
Rod (Melbourne)
Will the banks open on Monday morning?
Steve Ell (Burlington, VT)
“Take it easy, just relax,” the president said. “We’re doing great. It will all pass.” Now he’ll pardon flynn. 25th amendment. This is a sick, sick president. In the meantime, new cases and deaths are rising. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Why is the number of confirmed cases lower than the number of total cases? The number of confirmed cases is lower than the number of total cases because not everyone is tested. Not all cases have a “laboratory confirmation”, testing is what makes the difference between the number of confirmed and total cases. All countries have been struggling to test a large number of cases, which meant that not every person that should have been tested, has in fact been tested. Since an understanding of testing for COVID-19 is crucial for an interpretation of the reported numbers of confirmed cases we have looked into the testing for COVID-19 in more detail. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Trump's ace up his sleeve is that he already has a vaccine in hand. His wanton incompetence is merely a tactic to gin up the chaos and angst so he can ride in on the white horse waving the vaccine in the air shouting I told you so. Trump's October surprise is his purchase of the German bio-tech firm's research and a deliverable vaccine just ahead of Nov. 3rd 2020.
Agent 99 (SC)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease As for conspiracy theories here’s mine Kim jun un said he was going to send trump a surprise Xmas gift but a package never came. COVID-19 is it.
Cee (J)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease Has that silver you ordered from Infowarz affected your sensibilities? "His purchase"? There used to be an old sitcom with Phyllis Diller portraying a 'wealthy' woman, "The Pruitts of Southampton" - the line in the theme was "The Pruitts don't know it, but the Pruitts are flat broke. - kinda like Big Orange.
John Mack (Prfovidence)
A huge number of jobs for low income people will disappear. A huge number of small businesses will go bankrupt. Eviction of low income tenants will rise. This bailout will not help with these problems.
J Anders (Oregon)
"ICTV announced "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)" as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. WHO says it refers to the virus carefully as “the virus responsible for Covid-19” or “the Covid-19 virus” in communications. But, it stresses, that these terms are not meant to replace the official name." How many Americans know this is actually a strain of SARS?
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
The Exponential Power of Now The explosive spread of coronavirus can be turned to our advantage, two infectious disease experts argue: “But only if we intervene early. That means now.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/science/coronavirus-math-mitigation-distancing.html that means yesterday!
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
The number of total cases is what we want to know, but their number is not known To understand the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak, and respond appropriately, we would want to know how many people are infected by COVID-19. We would want to know the total number of cases. However, the total number of COVID-19 cases is not known. When media outlets claim to report the ‘number of cases’ they are not being precise and omit to say that it is the number of confirmed cases they speak about. The total number of cases is not known, not by us at Our World in Data, nor by any other research, governmental or reporting institution. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus
kj (Portland)
Credit card, student loans (including plus loans), small business, personal, and auto loan rates should be cut in half. The savings that banks get need to be passed along.
Mike Kelly (Bainbridge Island, WA)
And why is that dependent on good will rather than terms of the cut? Obviously reducing consumer burdens is what matters now.
Debra (Montana)
The healthcare providers on the frontlines should be given immediate relief. Safe and reliable childcare, healthful meals, any helping hand we can provide.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Debra Yeah - like the stuff other developed nations' governments take care of.
Donna M Nieckula (Minnesota)
We’ve read how there may be many undetected Covid-19 cases because people had mild/moderate symptoms, didn’t see a doctor, and recovered. Question: Is it, also, possible that some people may have died from “viral pneumonia” that was actually Covid-19? If Covid-19 testing wasn’t available or the patient didn’t meet the narrow restrictions on testing (e.g., had not traveled to China), it seems that we’ve likely missed some Covid-19 deaths.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Donna M Nieckula My guess is that a lot of deaths attributed to the flu this season have actually been Covid-19. But we'll never know.
JerseyGirl (Princeton NJ)
There is a test for the flu. No death is attributed to the flu without confirmation.
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
The limit of 50 people at a gathering reminds me of a cartoon I saw: A bored judge was about to sentence a defendant, looked up at the clock and said. "Mmm, ten to twelve years." How did they arrive at 50? Wouldn't avoid ALL public gatherings until further notice be more sensible?
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@dutchiris I suspect it would be easier if some one were to test positive the tracking down of 49 others wouldn't be overly burdensome...but clearly everyone making decisions about this are making it up as they go along.
Agent 99 (SC)
@dutchiris 50 people in a 10*10 room or 100*100? Better yet, make everyone wear a hula hoop. Then it won’t matter because the hoops will maintain the separation and limit to room size.
qisl (Plano, TX)
@dutchiris The mayor of Oklahoma City had a similar announcement earlier today, re: no more than 50 people. He said that it was to permit government task forces to meet, and mentioned that there is an okc council meeting this week.
Quiet Waiting (Texas)
As long as so many readers are blaming the federal government for not acting more vigorously, may we please make this a multi-level and non-partisan gripe session by asking why municipal officials in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have not shut down the commuter trains whose crowded conditions and constant humidity make them great incubation chambers? Is there a common sort of political behavior here?
DH (Midwest)
I can’t comment on political motivations, but public transit is vital in all of those places. Perhaps holding back because that would effectively shut the city down for at least some people? Many city and state-level leaders have been hoping they wouldn’t have to take that step.
Kyle (America)
@Quiet Waiting some of the people who staff the hospitals and care for your loved ones rely on public transit to get to work. Here in the bay area the ridership is down at least 30% as of last week, probably much more this coming week. Shutting down transit would be very difficult for low income earners who clean hospitals, schools, prepare and serve food, work in libraries (many of which are caring for children during the school shutdown), etc. Broad closure would make things worse. If we limit transit to only those who NEED it we will be in good shape.
Hermis (ny)
then how do medical, bank, grocery, pharmacy workers get to work?
tedc (dfw)
For two months, the main-stream medium spent much of virus reporting on vilifying China's ineptness in dealing with the infection and subsequent draconian action of isolating infected area instead of warning the public to get ready for the coming epidemic in the US as if the viral epidemic is a political tool in beating up our rival. After wasting the valuable lead time, the virus comes home to roost when our hospitals are unprepared to deal with the epidemic for lacking testing agents, equipment and personal and our government has no leadership nor process ready to deal with the outbreak.
DH (Midwest)
I’d counter it isn’t the media’s responsibility to ensure the public is adequately prepared for a pandemic. Certainly the media is invaluable, but the federal government was fully aware of this early on and chose to downplay the threat instead of acting earlier. I appreciate the media’s reporting but wouldn’t expect the Times to declare New York City should be on lockdown before the government has.
DCM (Nevada)
@tedc Many of us readers can connect the dots.
Agent 99 (SC)
The daily pressers seem to be held in a closet. All the expert, and non-expert officials are standing bunched together violating social distancing. Optical illusion perhaps. Why the disconnect? Each of them should put on a hula hoop There must be a bigger room for the briefing or can there be some method to the madness? .
Michael Edward Zeidler (Milwaukee)
It sounds from the news stories like we are in the middle of economic chaos. Everyone is talking at once. There is so much money-talk that I have to guess the coronavirus is going to cost the U.S. government $5 trillion dollars. It is coming as an economic shock wave.
Ben Balcombe (NH)
Imagine if they took that $5 trillion and gave it to the citizens rather than the corporations! It works out somewhere around $14,000 per person, so a family of 4 would get nearly $60,000 to actually spend, a new car, a new kitchen, a vacation, eating out more, spending more in their local communities. Sound like a bad idea, best pump that money into ‘the markets’!!!
Mike Kelly (Bainbridge Island, WA)
Good that we didn't squander $1.9 trillion on an unnecessary tax giveaway to big business.. Oops.
Monsp (AAA)
But the rulers love to tell us the private sector gets rid of inefficiencies in the market. We have close to zero mask, hand sanitizer, virus test kits, and now even toilet paper. For profit healthcare is a disaster in a crisis.
JerseyGirl (Princeton NJ)
You realize it's exactly the same in every other country right?
Monsp (AAA)
@JerseyGirl Except that no, it's not. Testing is readily available in almost every other country except Iran.
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
I thought the whole point of deliberately creating a $1 trillion deficit by massively cutting the taxes of the biggest corporations all while deregulating Wall Street (= Trump and the GOP's only major piece of legislation), was to create an economy that would be so strong that no bailouts would be needed anymore ... ? Did I miss something?
CacaMera (NYC)
I feel awful about those who are losing their jobs because of the closures. Those folks then have to go do Instacart for the rest of us, risking their own health. Folks, I know many in Manhattan who are not exactly generous with tipping, but please, please tip well till this thing dies down and people can get back to real jobs. Those risking their health to do our shopping deserve a generous tip.
Rod (Melbourne)
The answer is to pay people a living wage, have paid sick leave for all and to have Medicare for all—not to rely on your backward culture of “tipping”.
Steve Ell (Burlington, VT)
The keystone kops of government could not do the job worse than this. trump thought the market would love this. He couldn’t have been more wrong. It only adds to uncertainty and there are no more weapons left to fight the battle. The focus has to be on the American people and slowing the spread of the coronavirus. All he worries about is the market. The coronavirus doesn’t care. The market won’t matter when we’re all dead.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@Steve Ell. The rule should be that whatever Trump thinks will help the economy -- do the opposite.
atwork5 (Milwaukee, WI)
The day after many big St. Patrick's day parties we recommend limiting large gatherings. That is our response to this in a nutshell.
Carl (Philadelphia)
I think the President and his staff should self quarantine. This should calm the spread of the virus or at least the misinformation regarding the virus
Portola (Bethesda)
I would like to know how you hold primaries -- or elections -- if gatherings are limited to 59 persons or less. It's time to move on mail-in and online voting.
Kiska (Alaska)
You can’t. Trump is wiping the drool off his chin just thinking about it.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Trump's efforts to buy out a German bio-tech firm's research and his flagrant trolling about pardoning Flynn answers the question as to whether Trump's recent actions were incompetence or malign intent—malign intent is always Trump's motivation.
qisl (Plano, TX)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease His predatory attempt to buy out a German biotech firm will probably mean that when a vaccine is developed overseas, we'll be served last, if at all.
Agent 99 (SC)
“Lowering interest rates is supposed to help goose the economy by making it cheaper for households and businesses to borrow money, which they will hopefully use to buy houses, cars and invest in new plants and equipment.” If they are telling us to hunker down how is it possible to go out house hunting or kicking the tires at the car dealership.? Will this no interest rate interest rate be around when and if the covid-19 hits Trump zero ? The messaging is so whacky. No wonder there’s a shortage of toilet paper.
Travis ` (NYC)
@Agent 99 This is just madness. All I see it means is that the business sector is WAY over extended and this shows they are desperate and it's just melting right before them. There will be debts called into collection perhaps Trump needs another loan. It's so sad. Oh and a payroll tax how novel. These people will literally run the country into the ground.
Leslie (Amherst)
Another media outlet is reporting that the White House is now saying that labs will be able to process "up to" 4,000 CV-19 tests per day. Do the math. Number of tests in one year: 1,460,000 US population: 330,000,000 Number of YEARS to provide one test to all US residents: 226
I Hear Ya (Heartland)
@Leslie. only those WITH symptoms should be tested!!
Leslie (Amherst)
@I Hear Ya Agreed. However, the math demonstrates the utter failure of the Trump administration to save will be at least hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. In a secret document just viewed by the Guardian, public health officials in the UK expect 80% of their population to contract CV-19. In the US, that would be 246 million with CV-19. Let's say that only 20% of those needed testing. That would be 52.8 million needing testing. At 4,000 per day, it would take still take 36 years to test everyone. If this doesn't convince Trump's fawning millions to start socially distancing, nothing will. And, I'm very much afraid that nothing will.
Maria Cate (San Francisco)
@I Hear Ya It would be far better if everyone could be tested because asymptomatic people are carriers who spread the disease and should be isolated. But I can't see the USA spending that kind of money on its citizens, who clearly don't matter one bit to most Republicans. My wish is for a large Republican die-off since they think it's a hoax.
Tim (New York)
Federal response to pandemic? Try the discount window. Bank translation: We're insolvent. Can’t fix stupid.
I.L (Montreal)
I’m acared of what might happen if COVID-19 spreads in Africa...
Joanne (Nj)
So people at or nearing retirement have nowhere to make interest and are forced to pump money into the stock casino which rises and falls on the words of a fool.
J Anders (Oregon)
Way to show this virus who's boss, Donald! Cut its interest rate.
TTom (NJ)
Humans, you need to learn to accept your own mortality. -Covid-19
Enrique Puertos (Cleveland, Georgia)
This time it is the Coronavirus and the people that you should be most concerned about stupid, not the economy!
Opinioned! (NYC)
Everyone should retweet that meme of Trump with the violin.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Republicans' have successfully created their death panels.
Big Text (Dallas)
The bottom just fell out. Good luck. You're on your own.
Manville Smith (South FL)
Now would be a great time to suspend the punitive tariffs on US businesses and support citizens with direct payments of $1000/month. If you’re going to do stimulus, put it where it will actually work.
DisplayName (Omaha NE)
@Manville Smith Yep, a federal funds rate cut doesnt help anyone except banks, which will no doubt keep credit card interest rates right where they are at 17-20%.
essgordon (NY, NY)
Interest rates at zero for a guy who relies on credit - how many properties will he be busy refinancing? He’s going to be paying little to no interest for decades. This guy only knows how to operate corruptly.
Linda (OK)
The article on Trump offering one billion dollars to the German pharmaceutical company to move its research to the United States stated that Trump has been particularly aggressive in attempting to relocate tech companies to America. In the past, the majority of research into diseases, new medicines, and cures was done by research universities using grants from both private industry and the government. Trump has drastically cut research grants to universities. If Trump really wants tech in America and virus research in America, he'd restore grants to research universities instead of offering billions to foreign corporations.
Monsp (AAA)
Why is the unelected FED in charge of coronavirus stimulus?
John (Los Angeles)
They’re not. They are trying to prevent a liquidity crisis from developing as a result of constraints placed on the global supply chain and overall economy from the Coronavirus. I believe the “stimulus” you’re thinking of would still be the purview of the elected Congress, as in debating potential tax relief/pushing out the tax deadline, providing supplemental income to contract/gig workers, moving to cover copays for Coronavirus tests etc
Alpha (Islamabad)
Pakistan does not have the money nor sophisticated equipment neither infrastructure to counter this pandemic but I think currently we are smarter and ahead of the rest of the World. Pakistan had taken the tally from major hospitals throughout the country. Currently, we have not seen any increase in number deaths from the median or increase in hospital asking for ventilator. All businesses and people have been told to conduct social separation. So the spike has not arrived and country will suppress the spike by taking preemptive measures. With this preemptive measures, just like other pandemics that we faced in the past we will stay way ahead of these rich, sophisticated countries. Maybe once in a while US and other rich countries can get down from their high horse and listen to us? Maybe, our few words of wisdom will help you in dire situation as this.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
@Alpha Thank you for your insightful comment. In fact, there are lots of people (both scientists and laypeople) here in the US who agree with you, and who have been screaming for our government to take preventive measures (like your country did) for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, our country isn't run by these smart people. Instead, it's run by an imbecilic president, who is supported by an entire party of sycophantic enablers who don't believe in science. Some Americans aren't willing to give up their imaginary "freedoms," even if it kills them.
Pam (Alaska)
700 billion to save Wall Street. If we just sent checks for $2000 to every citizen next month, it would cost one-tenth of that.
escargot (USA)
Check your math. You are off by a decimal place. $2k times 330M citizens is ~$660B--almost $700B, not one tenth of $700B.
Ben Balcombe (NH)
Your maths is of by a factor of 10, but it’s the right solution. $2000 each for 335,000,000 people = $670,000,000,000.
Paul (Port Townsend, WA)
@Pam Actually $2000 x 350 million people would be exactly 700 billion.
The Times should do a feature story of how Steven Mnuchin benefited from the economic stimulus measures of the last great recession. It would give anyone pause to give him more economic power.
Georgina (Texas)
@JC Yes! Everyone should listen to the episode of This American Life that tracked his greedy “windfall” as the result of 2008 foreclosures. Very difficult not to assume the vultures will be circling again. How naive we are. Why isn’t this kind of thing headlines, instead of the latest tRump tweet tantrum?
Kamalia (Indiana)
I am getting this impression that our beloved Dr. Fauci could be the problem in this crisis. When he is on podium at White House his analysis is always tongue-in-cheek. When he is on tv channels his tone changes, more alarming then it is at White House briefings. With a lying President, fibbing VP we need, at least, an 'expert' to be consistent to the public.
Dave (Salt Lake City)
He is walking a tightrope. If he gets fired for disloyalty and replaced by yet another ignorant hack, then we will have nothing but disinformation from the top.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Kamalia Dr. Fauci is trying to keep his job, because he knows he's all that stands between us and disaster.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@J Anders. How many people have used that as an excuse to pander to Trump? Ultimately, they all find it to be an impossible task and they lose their reputations in the process.
William Boyer (Kansas)
What will the Fed use for money? Oh I forgot that we are playing make believe.
Mike (UT)
The Feral Reserve is moving to buy more toxic debt with your money. As if that helped anybody but Wall Street. Except the WS parasites cannot live outside the real economy, and that's going to crash hard, and never completely recover.
CacaMera (NYC)
Our mayor is worried about the tax revenues instead of worrying about stopping the spread. So he does it with baby steps. It's not enough. All restaurants, bars, gyms need to close. The millennial have been shrugging it off with "Oh, that's fine, it's just a flu. I am going to live my life". People across the country should be made to watch the press conference of Governor of Illinois yesterday, and stop their self centered behavior knowing each person who gets infected is giving it to sometimes 70-100 others (see Westchester and Boston), and not only some of them will die, but it will also sink our healthcare facilities. So stop mingling!
M.A. (Boston)
But millennials do care and we are not shrugging. From Boston and New York —from those with high school degrees to doctorates—colleagues, peers, family, and friends—we are keeping ourselves and each other informed from reputable public health agencies and the news, worrying for others, working from home and practicing active social distancing for our 1-3 jobs. Some of us also check on friends from nowhere near the east coast because we have dear relatives across the U.S. Many of us were focused on exercising our rights, trying to get jobs and live or trying to pay down or pay off loans after school, or finishing our educations, or working in social good careers. We are all trying to use our educations to help others. Some of us are parents. Now most of us are texting our friends and family in between cleaning apartments with diluted bleach and hand washing with soap and hot water. We have spent days coordinating setting up telecommuting, working from home, and then FaceTiming our relatives checking on each other. We are calling our elders and telling them to take care and stay healthy and keep in touch. We are trying to flatten the curve and having digital dialogues about what more we can do beyond social distancing because we do not want to see our elders suffer like in Italy. We are praying for calm in our World.
Berber (Wisco)
@CacaMera "The millennial have been shrugging it off with "Oh, that's fine, it's just a flu. I am going to live my life". " I work in a hospital and can tell you that many patients, of all ages, say the EXACT same thing... It's unfair to place blame on any one generation. Fun fact: 56 million millennials are nurses nationwide. We're the ones that will be on the front lines through this whole thing. Please put your biases aside.
BG (Bklyn, NY)
It's easy to say don't panic, when you have a hide away get away second home far from the masses. Question Mr. Mayor why did you not start the process (at least on paper) contingency plans for school closures sooner. Now your scrambling? New Jersey and other States didn't hesitate to close their system. I applaud the Teachers Union for taking a stand. Mr. President your wait and see answer to this terrible outbreak will come back and haunt you. Shame. No contingency plan. Please No one is discussing the homeless population shelters. A breeding ground. New York Times, thank you for keeping the people informed. Excellence in Journalism. For with this up to date info Im more informed and able to pass on info family and friends.
D.jjk (South Delaware)
We need to close all the bars and restaurants that sell booze . First of all to stop Coronavirus and secondly to save peoples lives from toxic alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe it causes over 20 serious cancers. I get my information from Harvard Special health reports and can’t wait till it sales finally ends.
Laura (USA)
You know what would help? Bailing out the small business and hospitality workers that are about to have zero income for at least a month. But hey, glad Wall Street is sleeping well tonight.
fbraconi (NY, NY)
@Laura You're right. My comment below argues much the same. (But don't think Wall St is sleeping well tonight.)
Russ (Seattle)
This is me! I lost my job in Nov—abusive situation—and have not found another, I Lyfted to make my payments. Now I can’t.
expat (Japan)
Your tax dollars at work/risk...
Sheils Leavitt (Newton, MA)
Here is an closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse (probably dumb) thought experiment: Everyone over 50, plus those in a high-risk group due to co-morbidities, might have strictly self-quarantined for a few weeks. Healthy people under 50 could have carried on with their lives and work and the business of the country, stringently avoiding their elders and the at-risk, getting sick with CV but (mostly) getting well and thus immune (as far as we can tell). Then, after the wildfire had died down, the elders/ill could have gradually been let out of their cages, without overwhelming the system, and without exhausting the healthcare workers who care for those who get ill and need hospitalization. In terms of this thought exp., the closing of universities and dorms, and possibly even the schools for younger kids, would have been counterproductive in the sense that these healthy young people have now been dispersed back to their home nests, to be with their at-risk parents/grandparents, with or w/o a stop first at the bar. In Wuhan, a big percentage of the COVID-19 cases were “family clusters.” Says WHO Assistant Director and epidemiologist Bruce Aylward: “You look at the big, long lists of all the cases and identify those where you have clusterings in space and time and try to investigate what kind of clustering happene:Was it in a hospital, an old-age home, theaters, restaurants?We found it was predominantly in families. Family clusters are the closest, longest exposures.”
Sharon (Oregon)
@Sheils Leavitt That would work if we all lived in the "nuclear family" model. What would I do with my 16 and 18 year old kids who live with us, and we're at risk? You can't just separate everyone over 50 from everyone under. A lot of children live with grandparents. There are extended families. We should follow S Korea, Singapore and Taiwan's models...BUT we don't have the means for extensive testing.
Linda (OK)
@Sheils Leavitt People between the ages of 50 and whenever they retire ( around age 70 these days) still have to show up for work. Many of them live paycheck to paycheck. Unless they get paid to stay home, workers 50 and older can't afford to miss work for weeks or months. And would businesses hold their jobs open for them for weeks?
David Polewka (Chapel Hill, NC)
It's like forest fires; we suppressed them for years, then it blew up in our face. We've been suppressing communicable diseases, and now it's blowing up. And it's gonna keep blowing up, periodically.
Ingapone (Salt Lake City, UT)
Mother Nature is saying, finally, “I’ve had enough.”
FilligreeM (toledo oh)
When tests are finally available and used extensively in the US, after absurd delays in view of the offer of inexpensive test kits from Germany weeks ago, when the test results show a HUGE number of Americans with the Coronavirus (no doubt in part from the influx through the airports in the last few days): 1. How will trump blame Obama? 2. How will he spin those numbers as fake news? 3. How will FOX place responsibility anywhere but on this administration? Stay tuned.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
@FilligreeM It has nothing to do with Trump. It is so unfair. He has never been a fan of foreign viruses. He hardly knows them. If he is not at all responsible then he cannot be the president. "I don't take responsibility at all," he said, insisting problems that led to slow test-kit distribution were the fault of previous administrations. "We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time."
tom harrison (seattle)
Wouldn't it make more sense right now to enact Andrew Yang's idea and send every American a check to pay their bills...like their credit cards?
Sharon (Oregon)
@tom harrison Everyone who has lost their job, including gig workers. Expedited unemployment. Small businesses need support as well so they can get back on their feet. Don't send money to people who don't need it...yet.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
House passes coronavirus bill, which includes paid sick leave for workers https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20200309/BILLS-116hr6201-SUS.pdf
J Anders (Oregon)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease And yet McConnell hasn't scheduled a vote in the Senate and took a break from Thursday until tomorrow. Oh well, it's not like this is a life or death situation...
Opinioned! (NYC)
“Anyone who needs a test will get a test. Anyone.” This is the real hoax.
S B (Ventura)
@Opinioned! One of many perpetuated by the "very stable genius"
Joyce (North Carolina)
They didn’t say “when” tho
magicisnotreal (earth)
So Much Winning! Are the evangelicals waking up yet? "CureVac boss was at the White House last week to discuss its vaccines plans. The Donald Trump administration offered "large sums of money" to get exclusive access to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by a German company, Die Welt reported Sunday. According to the article, Trump was trying to get the Tübingen-based CureVac company — which also has sites in Frankfurt and Boston — to move its research wing to the United States and develop the vaccine "for the U.S. only." https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-confirms-that-donald-trump-tried-to-buy-firm-working-on-coronavirus-vaccine/
apparatchick (Kennesaw GA)
"The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero and unveiled a sweeping set of programs — including plans to snap up huge amounts of government and mortgage-backed debt" So this is the big lede instead of useful information about the virus. Not from the Times, but from Trump. This is his priority. He is obscene.
PATRICK (In a Thoughtful State)
So who Trusts this administration with the economy as they are all connected to Wall Street? I insist that if the Treasury bails out the lending institutions, that it does so by coincidentally erasing equal amounts of consumer debts as consumer tax payers are where the money is coming from and no bailout to support the economy is complete without erasing a portion of debt in the act of saving the banks.
Trump's A Buffoon (On The Road, USA)
Jerome Powell also said the Fed was eliminating reserve requirements. I think it is much, much too early for the Fed to be doing anything. We need to have a better idea how this is going to play out. There will be economic impact from the pro sports leagues cancellations and March Madness. But has there really been any economic impact to date, except a dropping market? If the Fed fires all its bullets now, what will it do later?
Sharon (Oregon)
@Trump's A Buffoon Actually, yes. My daughter lost her job in NY on Sat. when her place of business closed. She's a student and worked part time, so we can pick up her expenses, but what about everyone else.
Zejee (Bronx)
I know many people who have already lost their jobs. Do you think March Madness is the only thing cancelled? The gig economy is over. Many restaurants will never re-open. B’way is dark. Tourism and the business it generates is dead. Ripple effect.
fbraconi (NY, NY)
Conventional monetary and fiscal policy will not be effective against a recession that will unfold in a matter of weeks, not months. Congress has to write an emergency spending bill that provides direct cash assistance to small business owners and employees who will face immediate bankruptcy and unemployment. This is an unprecedented challenge and it demands an unprecedented response.
Blue (St Petersburg FL)
Does the face of Fox News and Trump’s shadow Chief of Staff Sean Hannity still believe the virus is a hoax?
Mixilplix (Alabama)
All Trump cares about.
KDC (Dc)
Can NYT investigate if Trump and his family have any investment in Roche? That's Swiss company that's going to supply covid19 testing
Zejee (Bronx)
Jared’s company is making the tests.
J Anders (Oregon)
As I type this, I am sitting in urgent care for the second time in 2 weeks. I came down with all the symptoms of coronavirus a week after spending a weekend in Seattle. At my first appointment, I got a negative flu test, a chest x-ray with a diagnosis of 'acute bronchitis". Despite my travel history, I was told my state only had 30 test kits left, and those had to be reserved for hospital patients. Today, the nice young doctor offered me an antibiotic "just in case" and told me to call tomorrow because they "hope" to get a shipment of test kits in. It's been 2 months since we knew this was coming. South Korea is testing 10,000 ppeople a day. And all my doctor can do is hope and prescribe things that don't cure viruses.
magicisnotreal (earth)
@J Anders But de-regulation and greed is good. It is enraging that those de-regulators who created this mess over decades knew this would happen. Not to you but to someone, millions of someones. And they did it anyway.
Barbara Stark (Dallas, TX)
My husband and I returned today from our honeymoon in Thailand. We were temperature screened while going through security prior to both our flights leaving Thailand, and all airport and airline workers wore masks. I had heard the horror stories of hours-long wait times at DFW airport and braced myself for the worst. We were through the customs line at DFW in 5 minutes flat. No temperature screening. No thorough questions as to where we had traveled (only had we been to Iran or China in the past 15 days). Barely any workers wearing masks. There was even signage on how to avoid the BIRD FLU on the baggage carousel. I was speechless.
Janak (Carson City, NV)
As the futures already suggest, this is not likely to improve the markets. And unnecessarily cause even more panic. Did Trump suggest this cut?
RReader (NJ)
@Janak He did not suggest the cut. He threatened to fire Powell or demote and replace him if Powell did not make the cut.
J Anders (Oregon)
@RReader The same way he "suggested" that Zelensky investigate Biden.
Jim (Montgomery County, PA)
monetary policy is generally not that effective in controlling the spread of pandemics. ramped-up testing and more tests on the other hand... also, I am in the epicenter of the Pennsylvania outbreak and there was a full church down the street today.
Mark Bower (West Norriton, PA)
Also in Montgomery County. We canceled in person Quaker meeting and held it online, actually very calming and no risk to members.
Gripah (Chalfont, PA)
@Mark Bower. Yes, Catholic Church near me was NOT cancelled today. I’m wondering if the collection basket is more important than the health of the parishioners.
Kiska (Alaska)
Per pence’s instructions, they’re praying it away.
J Anders (Oregon)
I'm sure the car showrooms will be teeming tomorrow....
T Norris (Florida)
@J Anders Right. I'll be running right out to buy a BMW. Or will it be a Porsche?
J. (Midwest)
“You don’t have to buy so much. Take it easy. Just relax. We we’re doing great. This all will pass,” say Trump. That quote should go down in history of the most insensitive, ignorant thing ever uttered by a President. A man we know who runs a solo, excellent airport shuttle service says he has lost $1100 in revenue in just the past week. A family member who works in the restaurant business is probably going to be out of a job this week. Although Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party have tried to help through the bill just passed, now waiting for Mitch McConnell to reconvene after a long weekend recess, much more must be done. If we can enact tax windfalls for billionaires and corporations, we can and should create an income protection plan for the next eight weeks for Americans who can’t afford to miss 2 months of salary. After all, who will drive our consumer economy after they have all been bankrupted.
Zejee (Bronx)
Well, the Chinese are recovering. Maybe they will start buying.
Carter Nicholas (Charlottesville)
Cool, really too cool: what is the Fed going to do next, what are the CDC concocting as fall-back, when it is unambiguously revealed how wantonly insanely this government is led?
Zozola (California)
Well, That would be the first recorded case of a virus rejecting the whole body of the most stable genius alive ...
beth (princeton)
@Zozola I don’t believe it.
J Anders (Oregon)
Trump has now bankrupted our country. Because people stopped trusting him with their casinos years ago.
KDC (Dc)
Can NYT investigate if Trump and his family have any investment in Roche? That's Swiss company that's going to supply covid19 testing WHen our doctors and nurses who are on the frontline don’t even have protective masks and gloves, asian medical people are increasingly facing racism from their community and work places
Zozola (California)
Red states should not have to listen to the government’s advices. Let them start their own extinction...
Steve Pomerantz (New york)
The efforts of the Fed also require confidence on the part of the public. Our president is a clown who inspires none. Worse, he signals that he doesn't really care. Fed action will amount to a hill of beans without leadership. Why else are futures limit down in the face of "aggressive" fed action. 0 rates will help corporations and kill retirees. What is our government going to do about that?
Muddlerminnow (Chicago)
Trump is certainly making America great again--the greatest moral failure since the genocide of native Americans.
marty (andover, MA)
No one from Wall St. or the mortgage fraud industry was prosecuted for the horrific scams committed ending in the economic catastrophe of 2008. The Fed lowered rates to zero solely to jump start Wall St., printed $4 trillion to buy Wall St.'s toxic securities and finally began to slowly raise rates in Dec. 2015. Yet, credit card rates, student loan rates, etc., were well above the Fed's supposed "low" rates to benefit consumers. Those most in need of low rates still paid upwards of 22% on credit card balances. The Fed and Wall St. are running the same game again. Only Wall St. and the toxic gambling that has continued unabated again will benefit. The proverbial tide has gone out once more and the Fed has again come to the rescue. Wall St., hedge fund, private equity execs have reveled in record amounts of leverage, margin buying, horrifically structured leveraged loans that are all ready to blow up. But perhaps this time will be different. Look out below while the average prudent saver gets royally shafted once again.
CacaMera (NYC)
@marty Yes, it's called "stick it to the taxpayer" and government is happy to pave the way. No amount of free money is going to help when there is no return on investment. They should be helping the unemployed, those about to get unemployed so they can have purchasing power. Same as 2008 indeed.
magicisnotreal (earth)
@marty Have you seen this? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/world/europe/cornonavirus-vaccine-us-germany.html "CureVac boss was at the White House last week to discuss its vaccines plans. The Donald Trump administration offered "large sums of money" to get exclusive access to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by a German company, Die Welt reported Sunday. According to the article, Trump was trying to get the Tübingen-based CureVac company — which also has sites in Frankfurt and Boston — to move its research wing to the United States and develop the vaccine "for the U.S. only." https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-confirms-that-donald-trump-tried-to-buy-firm-working-on-coronavirus-vaccine/
Scott Fordin (New Hampshire)
It’s interesting that Trump, the self-proclaimed “King of Debt,” stands to benefit in a big way from interest-rate cuts.
beth (princeton)
@Scott Fordin You can bet he is helping his rich friends exploit the market convulsions too.
John (New York)
Trump wants Congress to give him a blank check. I hope they are skeptical of anything that has the potential to allow him to hijack the economy, not in the interest of the people, but as a way to get re-elected.
Zejee (Bronx)
The Republicans do whatever he wants.
Heather (San Diego, CA)
The COVID-19 pandemic is the kind of crisis that needs to be handled with the greatest care. Both the epidemic and the economy must be addressed in tandem. We need to keep working and/or keep getting paid while protecting the most vulnerable members of the public. The only way to do that is to provide essential workers with protective gear so they can keep working, and to provide those who are able to stay at home with financial support. This nation has at least 600 billionaires and many multi-millionaires who can afford to chip in and help provide a one or two-month living wage to their fellow Americans who are trying to keep their businesses and families alive. We also have a lot of money set aside for warfare that could be temporarily diverted to this cause. If we don’t keep people afloat, they won’t be able to keep participating in the economy, and that will set off a chain reaction of economic misery that, in a worst-case scenario, would leave the United States resembling Venezuela. We need to pull together and keep this nation going!
Jennifer R. (Minnesota)
@Heather I agree with you 100%, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for those 600 billionaires to chip in to help their fellow Americans.
Senator Blutarski, PhD (Boulder, CO)
If capitalism is privatizing profits while socializing costs, I have to admit, socialism has been transformed and dignified by pirating our democratic processes.
Matt Andersson (Chicago)
Is "slash" really the right word? Real interest rates have been near zero for well over a decade. This rate "adjustment" (better word) is, like the virus, more psychological in its substance, and certainly, intended effect.
Albert (Australia)
@Matt Andersson If you were living on bank interest you might think the term slash more appropriate ???
C (JC)
@Albert Anyone who is wealthy enough to live on bank interest is going to get hit a lot harder by the Democrats proposed wealth taxes.
J Anders (Oregon)
What good is a ginormous GDP if 60% of your citizens can't pay an unexpected $400 bill? We've tried feudalism before. It never ends well. The Black Plague ended feudalism in the Middle Ages. The 1918 flu pandemic ended the Gilded Age. And helped usher in the Great Depression. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.
Jim S. (Cleveland)
Rather than snapping up large amount of government and mortgage backed debt, how about snapping up large amounts of student loan debt?
E.G. (NM)
@Jim S. I'd love to see the country write off student loans and let the bank figure out how to conduct their own business without bailouts. I paid off my near-$50,000 in student loans from the 1980's a while ago. I'd really like my students' (and my son's) generation to be granted loan forgiveness so they do not have to pay "loan servicers" -- who can't seem to keep accurate records -- for the next 30+ years.
Bhaskar (Dallas, TX)
German interior minister, Mr. Seehofer said Sunday, "The coronavirus is no longer merely a health crisis, but a question of national security. It is up to the government to ensure not only security of its borders and its food supply, but also our medical products and our medicines.” This German company uses the brains at MIT and Harvard. But they are months away from a vaccine, and the German government now it says it wants to protect its "borders and medicines." What do they mean by that? To me, it looks like we have the research capability and must make our own vaccines right here.
R. Zeyen (Surprise, AZ)
The Federal Reserve just fired it's last 'bullets' and if the beast isn't slain its recession or depression city. There will be no 'soft landing' for the working class, that's for sure.
Blue in Green (Atlanta)
Trump will be busy restructuring his business debts all day tomorrow. Good times for the King of Debt.
Setz (Henderson)
Stop the virus from spreading and then put a stimulus package into force to kick start the economy. The virus is the cause of the decline in markets. Fix the problem before shoving solutions into place. Our current bravado leader in charge is way too interested in his votes and not the overall solution.
Cindy L (Modesto, CA)
There's nothing left. We've been stimulating--whipping--an economy that was moving fast. It's exhausted and might die now.
Neal (Arizona)
Mnuchin, in collaboration with Wilbur Ross and Donald Trump, is demanding the right to eliminate Dodd-Frank and remove restrictions on giant banks. All in the name of strengthening the economy. A bit like the weasels asking for the keys to the hen house.
Karen B. (Brooklyn)
Trump just loosened the regulations for nursing homes, almost all of them for profit business. This shows you how insanely surreal this all is. This admin does absolutely not care about the citizens but about how to enrich themselves at our expenses.
R Fleig (Lake Villa, IL)
Just a reminder. The testing is free. The treatment is not.
Edmund Burke (Lexington, KY)
I am an institutional bond trader. This guy is strictly focused on his re-election. They need to enact the 24 Amendment now before his does anymore damage. He has just created a financial crisis in addition to a public health crisis. Cases so far 3000. What happens when they hit 100k .
@Edmund Burke 25th amendment. the answer: we are already doomed with this man.
Pigsy (The Eatery)
The most benign view of what has happened in the US so far, is that our government has taken a wait and see attitude. This may be appropriate when it comes to deciding how to respond to something like a storm. But this is really a genocidal war where the enemy has already established beachheads. The time for wait and see has long gone. It has got to be all out, scorched earth WAR. No half measures. No quarter. WAR.
waldo (Canada)
Wouldn’t ‘buying up debt’ mean even MORE debt?
Linda (OK)
Trump has had more failed businesses than he's had successful ones. Nobody out there is reading Trump Magazine while sipping Trump Vodka and planning a trip on Trump Airlines, which they booked through Trump Travel Agency while looking at photos from Trump Model Agency. He's had six bankruptcies. The Feds absolutely should not do anything because Trump wants it. He doesn't know business or how to handle money. He's living off loans from Russian oligarchs.
Face Facts (Nowhere, Everywhere)
Here we go again. You can bet grubby Goldman Sachs and greedy JPM are still whispering in the ears of the Fed. They are the problem just as they were a decade ago when they induced a Fed behavior based on protecting their own skins in the guise of that being for the public good. That is not what I have seen in the last 10 years at all. Just like the GFC, this is all about protecting the 1%. It is all about pretending we live in a democracy, but the truth is very different to that. If Goldman Sachs and JPM (along with Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Bank and all the other banks that caused the GFC, and then were bailed out) had been held accountable, and had paid for all the economic damage they caused, the Fed would have more tools today to benefit us all as they seek to keep a virus from having a detrimental impact on the global economy. The people bailed out the banks for the economic virus the banks caused a decade ago - it is now time for the banks to pay the people for this virus. The wealth of the banks' owners and employees was protected against their greed-based mistakes last time - it is now time for that wealth to be used for the greater good. Since the Fed is now limited in its capacity to respond to this crisis, because they limited the self-inflicted consequences of the banks' behavior last time, it is now time to call in the favors the banks still owe to them from 2008-09. We saved the banks last time - it is time for the banks to pay the piper for that.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Panicking and rash rush driving will kill more than Coronavirus. Hello people get a grip of the situation. Because Corona is making its rounds does not means other causes of death will take a vacation. Just 2 hours, there was an accident on the way to my YMCA and two SUVs collided head on. I did not count the pieces lying around the 2 totaled cars but a million pieces would be a close estimate. The YMCA told me they are going to close from tomorrow sections of their facilities that are critical for me to accelerate removal of excess electrolytes that cause hypertension. Guess what I am now more likely to die of htpertension and stroke than the nano sized Coronavirus. The paralysis from the Madness created by the CDC and the grandstanding politicians has to stop and those below age 60 should take proper precautions but get to work. The Fed slashing rates to Near-Zero is fine. Thank you but if we are in a state of depression and panic we are doomed. Only brave and cautious people below the age of 65, who follow guideline for safety precautions will thrive in this crisis, the rest will be beaten down by fear of Coronavirus. Politicians and press should just stop the fear mongering. Politicians have nothing to offer. No vaccine, no specific FDA approved antiviral. No early warning. The CDC knew that there was a link between the 2003 SARS Corona virus and the wild animal civet cat and the emergence of the SARS Corona virus. Could they not foresee this Corona virus, COVID--19?
Jennifer R. (Minnesota)
@Girish Kotwal Please do not mistake the reporting of important news for fear mongering. I would like to be informed of the progress of this epidemic even if it is scary.
Zejee (Bronx)
Do you know what is happening in Italy and Spain and France?
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
@Jennifer R. Many people cannot handle the truth about something they know very little about viruses to start with. How many persons understand viruses to sufficiently digest news to critically evaluate it and make appropriate realistic decisions? Maybe 1 in a 100,000. Most don't even know the difference between a bacterium and a virus. Relying selectively on so called "important news" the is titled towards scaring people or hype the scenarios could be dangerous.
Fred Hill (Long Island)
Really?!? 50 people?!? What if # 42 is infected. Sounds to me like some else— non-health expert is driving this train to the detriment of all of us.
J Anders (Oregon)
Don't forget Trump is still in court trying to overturn Obama care.
West (WY)
Have a great day all of you retirees with your savings in "secure bonds" and do not forget to thank trump for his helpful cut that helps his rich pals.
Michael Anthony (Denver (NYC Expat))
Isn’t anyone else furious about the inaccuracies in the reporting of infection and mortality rates? We have no doubt that China was underreporting their numbers, that Iran is underreporting their numbers that the USA is underreporting their numbers. If you can’t trust the government, if you can’t trust the businesses, if you cannot trust the media, than who can you trust?!?!?
I remember that Trump stated and blamed all past Presidents and politicians abut American Carnage. I supposed metaphorical reference a tad exaggerating. But it seems , it would be real in his term. A true , literal American Carnage is going to happen because of his incompetence.
tom (oklahoma city)
If you will, "the stock market doesn't lie". The stock market "knows" that the people Ttump has in place are worthless.
Nuh (Livonia, MI)
Can we, for the next 3 months, place someone else in charge besides Trump? The number 1 country in the world is crumbling. The whole world is watching us. Get it together America.
ADubs (Chicago, IL)
That's right. Protect the money while leaving citizens to die with Trump's narrative of "This is all under control. Fugetaboutit! Don't pay attention to the media!" His carelessness, selfishness, cluelessness, ignoramusness will cost some Americans their lives. This is a fact. Will THIS be enough for Trump lovers to admit that he is a menace to society?
E.G. (NM)
@ADubs Of course not. Trump's "base" believes he only acts in their best interests, because he tells them so. They're not critically analyzing anything he says. They simply buy it, and parrot it to each other, thereby reinforcing how right (and Right wing) they are. We all might get somewhere if even some of the "base" acknowledged that he's a megalomaniac and pathological liar.
Frances P (Hudson, OH)
Let me count the ways, in different languages. No. Nyet. Nem. Non. όχι. Nej.
Rod (Melbourne)
25th Amendment. Now.
Meena (Ca)
Is the SARS cov 2 strain in Italy the same as the S or L strains that originated in China or has it recombined? Can the NYtimes please provide clear age demographics of all the hospitalized people world wide? It would make more people take notice if we realized that while the elderly might be more susceptible to death from this virus, all age groups in fact can get serious enough to need hospitalization. For everyone on hypertensive medications that are angiotensin inhibitors that increase Ace2 ( the binding point for covid19), please ask your doctors what you should be doing should you suspect covid infections. For those who are diabetics on medication please do the same. The latest information in lancet, speaks about how both these conditions have medications that seem to allow Corona virus to multiply more effectively. Stay safe. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30116-8/fulltext
Sharon (Leawood, KS)
He uses his platform to call out the media for (accurately) reporting on his promise that Google would have a website ready to help individuals decide if they should get tested. Google then issues a correction that they had only committed to a test site in San Francisco. Throws down his paper like a big brat and calls the reporters “fake news.” Unbelievable. Why even address it? He is so thin skinned and truly cares about no one but himself.
malencid (oregon)
Let's see. Large asteroid to hit earth in 2 years. Fed cuts rate. There that should solve the problem. How ridiculous can it get?
DSD (St. Louis)
Republicans took only 3 years to wreck the economy. It happens every time. Every single time. Republicans ruin it. Democrats fix it. Clinton balanced the budget and then Bush went on a spending spree like he was binging on cocaine - his favorite illegal drug. But each time the Republicans steal more and more money from everyone else. The Republican Party is like the coronavirus. Nothing good comes from it. We must avoid it like it’s the plague.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
Keep this in mind. While the country is in the throes of the virus, Donald Trump is undoubtedly robbing the country blind. No test kits for the virus. Is he getting money for them?
J Anders (Oregon)
@Doremus Jessup Funnny you should ask... Trump actually did own stock up to 2 years ago in the company that got a sole-source contract to produce the CDC's test kits. Does he still own part of the company? Who knows? His financial disclosure forms are conveniently classified.
Sharon (Oregon)
@J Anders What is the company who has the sole-source contract to produce the CDC test kits? Why is there only one company? Why is it a private, for profit company or at least why doesn't the CDC have its own capability to make or acquire test kits?
Usok (Houston)
Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese respiratory authority, had predicted yesterday that the Covid-19 crisis will be ended by the end of June this year. He is widely respected and known by worldwide healthcare insiders. While China Covid-19 situation is under control and industry production is increasingly improving, he and his team had several video conferences with Italian government officials, Harvard Health Institute leaders, and many other country's top officials. This should be a good news for us.
@Usok Hope that will be case, but We are not China, therefore Italy and Spain in that situation, we are descending.
Mark Young (NorCal)
@Usok I'm glad to hear that but of course his prediction is accompanied by uncertainty, plus or minus 1 month or more. And I wonder what Dr Nanshan, Dr Fauci and others mean when they say the "crisis" will end. They might just mean that the cases are not overwhelming the healthcare system. Most of us won't have been infected by June - most of us will still have to be very careful.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
Rodrigo Borgia would have had to go along way to outdo Donald Trump. Trump is corruption personified.
Robert (Seattle)
@Iana "We live in Arkansas or the so called bible belt. Churches here are not only not cancelled but encouraging people to attend and pray. " Sheer idiocy. The temptation is to say that they will get what they deserve but none of us wants those misguided fools to die no matter how deplorably they have behaved. The same goes for the deplorable in chief. We don't want poetic justice in the form of him getting the virus. We want real justice in the shape of indictments and prosecutions, after we throw him out of office. Greetings from a hot spot where we are in complete social isolation.
George S. (NY & LA)
In all honesty, constantly using selective photos of people with masks on at LAX is uncalled for and simple clickbait. The reality is, as can be seen in the very backgrounds of your LAX photos, most people are NOT wearing masks. Is your goal to enlighten or frighten readers?
J Anders (Oregon)
@George S. My guess is that if they could get their hands on masks, most of the people pictured would be wearing them
Marc Peloquin (Montréal)
New York needs to completely shut down two weeks. All of it. No questions.
Mike C. (Florida)
We got out and went fishing today. Far from any other boats, lots of fresh Gulf air. However, we refused change from the store where we bought ice. Used the debit card at the gas pump, and then hand-washed it. Did not dally to talk to anyone. At home we keep a half-gallon bucket of water and Clorox by the sink, and dunk our hands in there, along with credit cards, even money from the bank. And some grocery items, like a can of Lysol. Time to stock up on dry goods tomorrow such as bags of rice, beans and hot sauce. Flour and sugar, too. And we now have a bunch of fish in the freezer....
MRT (Harlem)
This helps the business world but the details are sketchy for the working class paying back their credit cards. Will those rates come down? Mortgage rates were averaging 3.5% and less so are home buyers getting an extra point shaved off? The money boys and girls will be high fiving each other Monday morning.
Elbow bumping rather
Rudy Ludeke (Falmouth, MA)
The CDC recommendation of a max of 50 congregating at one time in close quarters is still way ti much for most situations. Here in Massachusetts Republican governor Charlie Baker has set the limit to 25 that includes bars, restaurants and any private gathering. Restaurants are allowed to provide take out meals, including those that have not done so before. Mayor Marty Walsh has stopped all St Patrick's day celebrations and shut down bars. These efforts are reasonable mandates to provide effective social separations, but one would hope that even stricter actions are undertaken by customers and enforced by establishments. Again it is the leadership of governors and mayors who provide the guidance. The federal government is at best a follower, at worst a noose on the public welfare of many Americans.
Steve (New York)
I am a free market capitalist, so for the most part I favor supply and demand. However, with rates once again at ZERO I believe the time has come to hold the banks accountable to those they serve (and I DON'T mean their stockholders and employees some of whom make millions of dollars off of the backs of their poorest customers). What I am discussing is forcing the banks to reduce credit card interest rates to less than 9% since they are borrowing from the Fed at zero. The banks will still make a ton of money and that is OK. They just shouldn't get to charge 20%+ when credit card debt is funded by short term rates which have on average been close to zero for the last 20 years. The people who they are charging the most can afford it the least. The banks are creating a vicious cycle that they are quite happy with. Force them to reduce rates and and the net net will be a huge positive for the economy and in the end for the banks themselves.
Chris Toft (Chicago)
I agree. Thank you
Steve Pomerantz (New york)
@Steve As a free market capitalist, did you support the bailout of the banks ?
Name (Location)
@Steve The GOP NEVER wants to give direct benefit to regular Joe and Debbie Everyman but, by god, this is a time they MUST provide direct timely relief to every day people. Your idea is brilliant for it's obviousness and simplicity. Could we ever hope to see such as you suggest come to pass?
Local stores and restaurants will not be able to survive, will likely go out of business. But zero interest rates - that means corporations will do well. Corporations will make deals, will buy up real estate, will increase their power.
Jim (Northern CA)
What about grocery shopping? Costco typically has well over 50 customers at any time, possibly hundreds. How do we manage this clustering? Anybody in positions of authority have ideas to handle this daily mingling to buy food amongst crowds?
Shannon (San Antonio)
HEB, my grocery store chain in San Antonio, is offering free "curbside delivery" where we can place orders online, and go through a drive through line for pick up. They take our payment online and load groceries into your trunk, without you having to leave your car. The service is fairly new and normally $4.95 but they are waiving fees due to coronavirus, to encourage social distancing. They also offer grocery delivery, for about $10 fee altogether. I will be using curbside delivery for the foreseeable future.
Peter (San Mateo, CA)
There could be a real red flag in the last line of the story on the Fed: "The Fed also eliminated bank reserve requirements." These provide a safety buffer against excess withdrawals; eliminating the reserve requirement makes more money available for borrowing. There has been talk of a corporate debt bubble, corporations piling up too much debt because of low interest rates. If the loss of business due to the virus makes them unable to service this debt, we could see a cascade of corporate bankruptcies. Is this move a sign that the Fed has serious concerns about this bubble bursting?
charles (washington dc)
Just seems, above all else, this was done to put a smile on the presidents face, which it did. That smile made it real clear too, he is more concerned about the health of the stock market than the health of the citizens of this country.
Jeff (California)
Let me see if I can understand this. The best way to fight the Coronavirus is to lower interest rates? The if I'm bleeding to death from a wound, I should apply for a bank loan?
magicisnotreal (earth)
@Jeff I'm reminded of a quote I can barely recall, I think it's from Kafka, about writing your complaint in a letter addressed to the hospital you were born in.
zandru (Albuquerque)
@Jeff "apply for a bank loan" Well yeah, if you're hoping to go to the emergency room.
Ruben (Brooklyn)
No, but if you have a mortgage or loan, you can refinance it with a almost-zero interest and not bleed out financially if you lose your job or hundreds of hours of work due to lockdown.
Kristin J (Queens, NY)
If the CDC is recommending no gatherings of 50 or more people, will USCIS postpone adjustment of status and naturalization interviews for the next 8 weeks? In NYC, there are routinely 50+ people in the waiting rooms at the USCIS field offices. I have to attend interviews with my clients in the upcoming days and weeks and we still have no guidance. Extraordinarily frustrating.
Cate R (Wiscosnin)
Most households have no savings and debt. Credit card, student loans, mortgage, car loans. If wages are lost due to the virus, where is their help?
AUI (Amherst, MA)
Nowhere. Survival of the fittest. Darwinesque capitalism as practiced I. The US does not allow for weak people.
@Cate R Have you ever heard FDR , the new deal president. Have you ever watch the movie "Grapes of Wrath" , situation was dire , no high tech , just dust storms riding through this nation. Republicans didn't give us a president likeness of Lincoln and Teddy or Eisenhower. We need FDR type action. Thsi crisis I believe requires that, we didn't see in 2008.
GEO2SFO (San Francisco)
Here we go again. I could barely watch Nancy Pelosi bailing out another Republican president. And now this. This move just benefits the 1%. Explain to me how reducing the Fed rate to .25% and QEIII helps me, one of the 99%. I just read the NYT article detailing all the very profitable US companies that offer little or no sick leave to their workers, these same companies that benefited tremendously from Ryan's tax cuts and gave token bonuses but no increase in healthcare.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@GEO2SFO The legislation helps provide free food for children whose schools are closed during the crisis, as well as other initiatives to make sure seniors and food banks get help as well. One of the biggest provisions involves free testing — which has been one of the major shortcomings in the U.S. response to the outbreak so far. "This legislation is about testing, testing, testing," Pelosi said in a letter to her colleagues announcing the agreement. "To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge."
Phil Carson (Denver)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease Remember, the tests are free -- if you can get one. That's not the case in Colorado and New Jersey, of which I have first-hand knowledge.
Dan (Lafayette)
@GEO2SFO Great stuff here. /s. Nancy Pelosi would be happy to make this work for all. But, as the kids don’t seem to understand, she has to get whatever she does past the half of the country that does not want to do anything. And of course, Pelosi does not set the fed’s interest rates. Nor does Pelosi set corporate policy regarding sick leave. If you want her to address this, then elect either Biden or the millionaire Sanders to the presidency, make sure she keeps the House, and send Mitch McConnell and the rest of the feckless GOP senators packing. In the mean time, someone needs to step up in this time right now. It wasn’t ever going to be Trump. Thanks to Pelosi for doing the best she could. If you really don’t like Pelosi, vote for Dhillon next time.
George S. (NY & LA)
Sending the Fed in to fight a virulent virus outbreak is, if nothing else, certainly an "out of the box" solution. I have absolutely no idea how cutting interest rates to near 0% is intended to boost an economy when everyone has been told to "hunker down". I guess it will help Amazon and Dominos.
KC (Okla)
@George S. I think it's called panic. These people are supposed to be business people? What a joke.
R (B)
granted you can trust the censored information out of China, CV-19 appears to be dissipating after 3-months of strong deterrent measures. data continues to show, in addition, that dual antiretroviral HIV/AIDS therapy may be helpful in mitigating progression of CV-19 in hospitalized patients. with all due respect to those impacted, this could have been significantly worse--one or more mutation away from evading most immune systems. going forward, it will be important to follow-up potential readmission rates due to reinfection, dual-infection or complications. as for the market, the SPY index futures are currently halted on a circuit breaker going down again--has not been trading since 18:21. this will take much longer to recover from than the pandemic, as always fear being the strongest impetus. for those near retirement, this is incredibly difficult, but for others, this makes for some hugely discounted offers (essentially turning the clock the back, maybe years by the time all this ends).
@R I do not know a person who is in early 60's during 2008 crisis , how many times can delay retiring ?
Marta (NYC)
The ‘others’? You mean rich people. Most people don’t have any money to buy up Wall Streets ‘bargains’ and they sure won’t when they lose their jobs.
R (B)
@Marta I understand. but not just for the rich...also for those who are disciplined, saved, patiently waited, made sacrifices, worked hard and willing to take chances....and most importantly those willing to take a proactive approach to their own retirement (if you take time to learn the 'game' you can help level the playing field for all/and it doesn't take as much as you may think)
Robert (Seattle)
We don't want the Fed to lower its benchmark rates. We just want to not get sick until the hospital ICU has room for us. What's not to get about that? Life comes before profits and politics. Our lives, all of us.
Ben Thorner (Boston)
Great that coronavirus is no longer being called a “hoax” by the government. But the Fed action on interest rates and buying Treasury securities seems like a step that will just help those who don’t need the help. It’ll be a boon to people who can refi big mortgages - and trump’s cronies. But if we wanted to do something to help with the crisis, perhaps we should be thinking about what are we going to do to help those who can’t work from home (the vast majority of Americans)? Lousy to choose between social distancing (which we and the government should want) & putting food on the table or paying bills.
Vanessa Hall (Millersburg, MO)
And when zero-ish interest rates don't work? What then?
AUI (Amherst, MA)
Then nothing but at least the government can boast to have down their best.
Blue in Green (Atlanta)
@Vanessa Hall And when zero-ish interest rates don't work? What then? Beans and rice.
@Vanessa Hall Work means Tomorrow economic crisis over or Virus stooped. The answer none of them is going to be happen. You will see next week. Virus doesn't know your feds rate reduced to 0.25%.
E.G. (NM)
Gotta keep BUSINESS healthy, right? Banks are laughing all the way to... well, themselves! Of course, Trump & Co. have no interest in helping PEOPLE. That'd be antithetical to their oligarchical beliefs. Student loan relief? No - the payments stay the same, but more will go to principal. Of course, we have not heard if interest accrues during the emergency to be added back later. Mandating paid sick leave - Nope. That'd step on toes. There's a lot of cheap talk, but for the vast majority of workers, if you get sick, be ready to lose your job or get dropped of schedules for others with "better-attendance." Come up with something to relieve the households without paychecks or with severely curtailed hours (and so, pay). Provide relief to the hundreds of thousands of famiies who no longer have their children fed at schools. Help thoe with high deductible health insurance (or none) to access care cheaply and quickly. And please, someone tell Trump that now is NOT the time to loosen oversight on nursing homes, even if your buddy, the home's owner, gave $750K to your war chest. Our "leadership" must get serious about protecting people, If people come before "the economy", then business will likely rebound without billions in bailouts paid for by the middle-class and working poor.
@E.G. - Don't forget that most student loan interest is tax deductible, anyway, so someone making the same payments as before with it all going to principal will actually end up with less money at the end the year.
Ninbus (NYC)
Economics are puzzling to me, so I had to create a way to understand interest rate cuts: Good for borrowers; bad for savers Extremely simplistic, but something I can grasp. I'm a saver, therefore, I'm in trouble. NOT my president
M145 (New Jersey)
I live in Wall St. country -- northern NJ. My town -- and neighboring towns -- has virtually shut down -- and I am fully supportive of these efforts to flatten the curve of infection. But if Trump and his minions think the Wall Streeters who live in my community are going to agree that the Fed's rate reduction will mitigate the impact of coronavirus they are in a for a big surprise come Monday.
Tim (Dallas)
Can someone please ask the CDC how many cases of COVID 19 were identified from these airport screening procedures? So many Americans placed at risk for what gain of security?
Karen B. (Brooklyn)
We will never find out. The clown keeps hiding the truth. He is good at that.
Eva (NYC)
@Karen B. You almost made me cry. So sad
I have had it (observing)
The fed rate cut makes Trump very happy. Words of wisdom Lloyd. Words of wisdom.
kenneth (nyc)
@I have had it Lloyd?
Karen O'Shea (Seattle, Wa)
The nation needs to institute measures to help the most vulnerable. People who have lost their jobs need to get unemployment right away and needy kids whose schools have closed and their families need access to food. Make America kind again, please.
Frake (PNW)
Has Trump said anything about the people who have died? "We only have 40" was his rose garden response. Has he offered condolences or even just some thoughts and prayers to the families? Trump is criminally delusional and a danger to public health. Two weeks from now the death count will be terrifying if we don't normalize isolation and take this seriously. Stay home. Accept that this is how the next couple months is going to be and find ways to pass the time. Start a routine and keep in touch with family and friends. Use the time to create or pursue curiosity. We are all going to be in the same boat soon.
neal (canada)
Trump has been cutting back on science and health care for awhile, now maybe he will listen to science.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
@Ulrich Hoppe. Brutus Pence? Hey, it’s a start.
Joe (Sausalito)
OK. . The Fed loans my bank money at almost zero interest so they can charge me 24% interest on my Credit Card? Is this a great country, or what? Yeah . . I know. I shouldn't be using CCs if I can't pay the freight, but come on . . .
Greg Phillips (CA)
Another self-congratulatory press conference today. I am sick and tired of the administration, particularly Trump, focusing on what a great job they are doing instead of focusing on showing empathy for victims and soon-to-be victims of the coronavirus and the steps everyone should be taking to stop hoarding and panic buying. To Trump, who hasn’t previously shown much interest in anyone besides himself and how the public perceives him, anything else is just too big of a step for him. He just can’t do it. And Pence dutifully follows along. It is time for Trump, Pence, and other political appointees to get out of the way and let the medical experts lead these press conferences.
Tony (usa)
I can see us going back to the same policies used in 2008 - and I am sure that we will see the Trump Organization at the top of our next "Too Big To Fail" list.
Garrett Light (Bangor Maine)
Our overreaction is doing untold harm to our country. Full panic, no logic.
Kevin C. (Oregon)
@Garrett Light Get back to us about "full panic" after Maine has their first 100 cases of the virus. Like next week.
Mary (Midwest)
@Garrett Light If there is not strong leadership, then people are going to panic.
JJ (SFBay Area)
I find it hard to get too upset with things. We Americans have had it so easy. So many others, have lived with much worse their whole lives, merely because of their lot in life.
Eva (NYC)
@JJ But they do not call it the greatest country on earth...
LTJ (Utah)
The spread of the virus has been indifferent to the political systems of countries impacted. So why the inane, unhelpful, and divisive anti-Trump banter here? Single payor? Good luck if you are over 65 in Italy, you are sent home to pray. NHS in UK - utterly fact-free attempt at “herd immunity.” And America’s “future,” our youth? They talk a good game about M4A and climate change but are unwilling to give up a night out at the bars. POTUS hasn’t been the leader we needed, the media hasn’t been the source of unbiased information we required, and our youth, our “future,” are a bitter disappointment. Disaster brings out the best sometimes, and other times the worst.
William Fang (Alhambra, CA)
@LTJ Don't ignore South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore (the original "Tigers", conincidentally). All 4 have been able to keep the infection low or at minimum the death rate low. They run the gamut politically, from liberally democratic (Taiwan), conservatively democratic (Korea), benevolent authoritarian (Singapore), and a unit of China (Hong Kong). But they all had in common governments that quickly realized the threat of Covid-19 and quickly sprang into action. That did not happen here.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
@LTJ You are mistaken. Our youth will be the ones who save this nation. They do not waste any night in a bar, but work overtime to get projects completed.
Jay Stephen (NOVA)
Gotta get ahead of this deadly curve. There are two disturbing factors that help spread the virus. The first are millennials, those under forty, etc. They've nothing to be afraid of and will ignore or sneak under whatever rules are put in place without a National Guard presence to encourage their compliance. The second group are the sociopaths in our midst who will quietly, deliberately spread the disease. We mustn't be naïve. They're out there. Partial remedy for both has to be the strict enforcement of criminal statutes.
George S. (NY & LA)
@Jay Stephen Perhaps the most important thing we need to do is to avoid spinning yarns about conspiracies.
Mare (Ma)
@Jay Stephen "...strict enforcement of criminal statutes." Let's start with Trump.
Kevin C. (Oregon)
@Jay Stephen Cool movie plot, bro. But schoolkids are more of a vector than either frat bros or Bond villains. Covid-19 shows similarities to the way influenza spreads, and kids spread the flu more than any other group.
Alpha (Islamabad)
Trillions of dollars were poured to big corporations and financial markets during the 2008 financial crisis. Today we have human pandemic crisis and only $30 billion is allocated. Bernie Sanders has been constantly pointing out this bias of Government favoring big business and not trying to help American in general. While Biden, a remnant of Obama era, who backed big corporations giving them relief packages is telling his supporter that they don't need medicare for all and they don't need balanced dealing with people and big business because we can't afford to take care of you all: but I am a better person than Bernie ? Really? Yet the group that have been victimized and disproportionately incarcerated has chosen to be his biggest supporter. For Democracy to work, the voters need to be informed AND also need to be able to digest such information .... something is not adding up here.
Cara (Missouri)
This does nothing to help the millions of self employed who have had to close their doors or the tens of millions who live paycheck to paycheck working in the service industry who are going to get laid off or just not get scheduled. When arrest people going to realize the truck just keep helping each other at the expense of the ready of us.
Coots (Earth)
"Written on the cover, in large, friendly letters, were the words, "Don't Panic." Methinks everyone needs a copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
George S. (NY & LA)
We need to start asking the big question: Is Trump going to use this crisis to declare martial law and permanently seize power? I do not mean to downplay the utter seriousness of the current situation. But it is exactly a crisis like this that can be used by a nefarious group in power to end democracy in the name of emergency. I have absolutely no confidence that "the center can hold" anymore. We have dangerous, egotistical maniac in the Oval Office at this time of a fundamental existential crisis in the Nation.
@George S. This topic is part of our conversation EVERY DAY.
Mare (Ma)
A pandemic is happening and the strict criteria for being tested is preventing us from knowing just how bad this is. As of today, only 799 people in MA have been tested, yet the state is 4th in the country for coronavirus numbers. Let that sink in. At least we have decent health insurance for everyone in the state. For the states that don't, well, I guess they get to pay the ultimate price for living in a 1st world country with 3rd world health care. I wonder what elected republicans will do if most of their constituents get sick or die.
Mary (Michigan)
@Mare Not be re-elected.
Jean claude the damned (Bali)
@Mare Testing asymptomatic people is useless. A negative test today could be positive tomorrow. The only people who need testing are health care workers to decide whether their runny nose is something to keep them out of work. Otherwise, who cares?
@Mare Republicans will blame it on LGBTQ and immigrants along with the victim card. Same playlist.
Dan Holton (TN)
Just as during the failing Roman Empire, each official who took the podium this afternoon at the government press conference began by flattering the leader who introduced them. This is a sure sign of the cultural and political decay of America; it is also the harbinger of a religious confiscation of secular power. The entire fasciae on the podium consists in 'The Future of an Illusion'. (S Freud) They have a pious need to be flattered, and the flatterers know their neck is on the line. Do not give any more power to Mnuchin. He is wrecking our economy and pandering to every fatuous 'investor' in the world. Instead we need to tighten the leash on this man's rabid greed; he needs to be removed from office as soon as possible. Get Trump and Pence and Mnuchin off of television, newspapers, and press conferences. Send them to Mar a Lago and force them to stay where their cults can satisfy their needs, and leave us alone with science and the experts on pandemics,
@Dan Holton We need to be in the streets, storming the palace, all the tactics of a revolution.
S B (Ventura)
Trump pressured the Fed again to cut rates - Trump threatened t remove the Fed chairman last week, and now he cuts rates on a Sunday . It is obvious this is an attempt by trump to stop the market from falling again on Monday. It won't help much, and then were are we going to go? Country is heading for an economic dive bomb, and we are out of parachutes.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
My husband paused briefly this evening after watching the latest news and developments concerning this virus and asked me a very serious and pointed question. He wanted to know my thoughts about abstaining from intimacy, including kissing, until this pandemic is over. I stopped and just looked into his eyes. I finally said, "We are in this together. Where you go, I go. Of course we will continue practicing extremely good hygiene, but we are married and have been close to 40 years. I don't want a roommate or houseguest. We share everything. We will just be careful, diligent in keeping things clean, and self quarantine if push comes to shove." He smiled and simply said, "ditto from the husband." I sincere wish everyone good health and good luck through these trying and nerve racking days ahead. May we all be okay when it's over.
Michael (Midwest)
It looks like Andrew Yang dropped out of the race a little early. I bet there are a lot of people out there right now who would be benefiting greatly from UBI.
Ultramayan (Texas)
The discount rate will not matter when you, or someone you love, is on a ventilator.
John (Fairport, NY)
A formerly great country now rudderless in a moment of enormous crisis due to corrupt, clueless and self-serving leadership.
PhilB (Calgary)
Finally, a top US officials is actually talking sense. Please note, dear American citizens, that Canada’s Prime Minister has been talking science-based policy from the beginning.
kenneth (nyc)
MEANWHILE, OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF IS STRUGGLING WITH MORE PRESSING ISSUES: "Trump Says He’s ‘Strongly Considering’ Pardoning Flynn Amid increasing anxiety over the coronavirus, the president said he expected to pardon Michael T. Flynn, his former national security adviser who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I."
@kenneth The president Trump is a Moral carcass. In his inaugural address he mentioned American Carnage , I supposed a metaphorical reference. As it turns out He is foretelling what is going to accomplish in his presidency.
Lee (New Jersey)
"“It makes me very happy,”" Let me tell him something. If you are a senior living off SS and interest, you are not happy. Indeed, Trump is hosing seniors to help who knows who borrowers. He should stand in front of a camera and explain to them why they are a low priority.
Mary (Michigan)
@Lee As a senior I will remember this in November. And I'm in Michigan.
Jean claude the damned (Bali)
@Lee I hate to say it, but by the time this tidal wave passed, the whole idea fo SS funding will be upended. Many of the projected beneficiaries will be dead
@Lee Exactly. I was laid off after Trump was sworn into office (late 50s). Changed to lowest risk investments until Trump is out of office. Assumed at the time he would wreck the markets. And here we are.
Look 2008 is man made crisis, This is Virus made, only difference is virus is not aware of your condition.
Michael Kelly (Bellevue, Nebraska)
Trump's threats and bullying to play his goose up the market would be appreciated a bit more if he had been some business genius. Remember he's already had three bankruptcies and his daddy had to bail him out a couple of times. He's more like a six year old boy taking a watch apart than a stable genius whiz kid.
Simon Taylor (Santa Barbara, CA)
Oh, I'm SOOOO happy that the Fed has cut interest rates tn Near-Zero. Not sure, though, how this might impact me, as an Amazon merchant, with an Amazon Lending loan at 20% APR, payments deducted from my monthly sales on Amazon. Great to hear that the government is going to pay Sick Leave and boost Unemployment benefits for people WITH REAL JOBS harmed by the coronavirus. Not sure, though, as a self-employed minion, how any of these wonderful policies help me as an impoverished cyberslave. 54, with no savings, no 401K, no assets, no health insurance, nothing. If you see me walking around on the streets, looking helpless, keep your distance. 6 feet, I believe. I'm just one of hundreds of thousands of people eking out a living, with absolutely NO social safety net. Don't let me breathe on you. I'm so proud of you upstanding folks for your (self-serving) social distancing.
@Simon Taylor Did you attend any protests, marches, etc. for change? Can't change things without a revolution.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
Layoffs have already begun. Business owners are trying to figure out how long they can hold on if they get sick. The next unemployment report will be April 3, and it will not be pretty...
Marge Keller (Midwest)
I am amazed that mayhem and unpreparedness continues in airports like O'Hare where many travelers returning from foreign countries where the virus is present, were shuttled to a small room, which quickly became overcrowded, waiting for hours to be tested. In the meantime, people continued to breath, cough and be in extreme close proximity. This crisis has been known for weeks and yet, no real plan nor logical system for separating and testing these travelers was put into place. On the other hand, there are some "positives" to be thankful for. Primarily - internet and web access. Meetings, conferences, and a plethora of other ways of communicating RIGHT NOW is capable. Food and other important supplies can be ordered on-line. We can talk and do face time rather than face-to-face contact. Granted the life we have taken for granted will continue to be disrupted for awhile, but at least options are available to keep things moving forward. I also have seen positive sides of folks during this pandemic. My husband and I were in line for 1.5 hours, waiting to check out of a large grocery store. An incredible conversation started with us and the ladies in front and behind us. We laughed and told stories and shared cooking tips. Each saved the other's place in line when one realized they forgot to pick something up in aisle 9. Although we were in line so long, we could have started a family, we made two new & great friends in the end, each exchanging contact information.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
"Lowering interest rates is supposed to help goose the economy by making it cheaper for households and businesses to borrow money, which they will hopefully use to buy houses, cars and invest in new plants and equipment." Hmmm. There's a pandemic that will only get worse before it gets better. A lot of folks can't buy the necessities during this health crisis because every store shelf is empty. Something as simple as a can of corn or peas is nowhere to be found. Even cat food is becoming difficult to find. So, until this pandemic begins to seriously wane, I think the last thing on many folks' minds will be interest or concern about purchasing a car, house or even to invest.
Bach (Grand Rapids, MI)
As we gauge people’s reaction to the Coronavirus, it bears repeating the at the root of all anger is fear. Let’s be kind to each other during our journey through the lower reaches of Maslow’s Hierarchy.
levgid (MN)
Another round of quantitative easing aimed at Wall Street? How will that help Main Street, can someone explain? It may make Mr. Trump "very happy", but how does it ease the lives of ordinary people and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus? Confused how monetary policies that basically leave the Fed's quiver near-empty address what is essentially a public health crisis.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
"U.S. stock futures fell after the emergency rate cut." Can somebody please explain to me why it seems like the Trump administration seems more concerned about the economic fallout of the health crisis rather than the actual health crisis itself? /s Cutting interest rates won't save the lives of people currently infected. Cutting interest rates won't prevent the virus from spreading throughout the populace. Cutting interest rates won't speed up the production of more testing kits. Cutting interest rates won't suddenly provide us with hundreds of thousands more hospital beds. Cutting interest rates won't reopen health centers in rural areas that have closed over the past few years. Cutting interest rates won't help our scientists develop a vaccine any faster. (Maybe that's why we tried to buy the knowledge from Germany?) Cutting interest rates won't provide health insurance or paid sick leave to part-time employees. Cutting interest rates won't provide daycare for parents whose kids are now home from school for many weeks; nor will it provide these kids with free breakfasts that their families rely on. (And why are we suddenly "buying up huge amounts of government debt?" Didn't Trump run on the platform of "I'm the King of Debt?" But didn't he also promise to "eliminate the debt?") Agian, how does cutting interest rates and buying up debt help us fight the health crisis (which is spreading exponentially every day)?
Owen Andrusiak (Williamsburg, VA)
Trump is not in charge of The Fed’s rate decisions.
Sharon (Leawood, KS)
@Owen Andrusiak , gee, he was only threatening to ask Powell to step down which would induce additional slides.
JMM (Dallas)
Oh yes Trump is in charge of the Fed's rates as he threatened to fire Powell if he didn't cut the interest rate.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
The real economy is going to take a tremendous hit, that’s unavoidable. Government is going to spend a lot and people just are not going to buy as much in the way of commercial goods and services. When it’s over the people will want to get out and to resume normal lives but they will not be able to for some months. That’s it, reality. If Trump wants to impress the electorate, he’s going to have to win them over by changing his image and ending the catering to one angry and intolerant segment of the people.
Tom (San Diego)
We are using printed paper to buy printed paper. Nothing more. Sure, it's good to have low rates to buy cars and pay credit cards, but monetary policy as become little more than a confidence game.
Alpha (Islamabad)
American leadership have failed and this will cost American's dearly in loss of life and one's who survived to long term medical care. Lower the income higher the cost and in fact the brunt of this virus onslaught will be felt by middle class. With conservative supreme court and federalist increasingly occupying the lower court, they will protect the Government and leave the public high and dry. THE PEOPLE will have no recourse even if lawsuits are brought by these people who have been harmed because of administrations in-competencies. Yet what is baffling is even the the two parties are working against their own population with exception one fellow i.e. Bernie Sanders. It appears there is something not right with the baby boomers and it is the millennial when they get into voting age and go out vote in numbers is then when America will head in right direction.
PhilB (Calgary)
The brunt will be felt by the poor, actually, not the middle class.
Dwight Moseby (New Jersey)
What middle class?
Usok (Houston)
Our government officials should talk to counter parts in Chinese government. At least, their expertise to fight back Covid-19 had obvious success. We should learn and modify their experience to suit us. We don't have to follow their steps or approaches, but we do need to know why and how they did it to defeat Covid-19. For the people's sake, Trump should pick up the phone and call his friend, Xi Jinping. If their suggestion works, we might reduce the tariffs or delay the tariffs implementation to 2021 or later.
Tyler (Delaware)
You presume that the official numbers are being reported correctly from China.
Lillijag (OH)
We are told that stores and shelves will be stocked. The only way that happens is if distribution centers remain open. The nearby amazon building here has 2000 workers. The same is true for many of these type facilities. They will not be closed until one of them has an outbreak, then the shelves may not be depleted by hoarders but a lack of distribution.
Mark (South Philly)
The US and other countries are going to have to figure out what to do about these viruses that are emerging from Asia as well as other parts of the world. We can't worry about hurt feelings now. This is going to be a major part of the upcoming presidential election!
J Anders (Oregon)
@Mark We've known for decades"what to do about these viruses." Be prepared. Unfortunately, the "What, Me Worry" smaller government crowd doesn't believe in logical consequences.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@Mark. Well, we had a team of experts as part of the National Security Council charged with just that very purpose until Trump fired them, an action which he claims to know nothing about.
Andrew (Toronto)
I watched Trump's press conference with alot of pause and rewind on YouTube. Of note: The man and the woman on the right and the left of him. Watch as they dutifully stand at attention, waiting to see how his run on sentence (that starts with name dropping CEOs from "the world of stores") concludes. When the point finally lands you can see both of them subtly roll their eyes up to their right and have a sigh. These people have the most difficult job in the world right now. This is the part of the whole experience that's most like a movie to me: The fact that, during the greatest public health crisis of our generation, the most powerful country in the world has a deluded impeached president calling the shots. That's the part that makes me say, "is this really happening?"
SC (Erie, PA)
How is an interest rate of 0% going to help elderly people who have to rely on interest income from savings, bonds, and dividends? How is a 0% interest rate going to help people whose hours are cut back, eliminated altogether, or who are laid off pay their mortgages? If people don't have money to spend nor the means to pay it back, how is a 0% interest rate going to help? A 0% interest rate is certainly not going to encourage people to spend more unless credit card interest rates also receive a commensurate cut. Who is going to borrow all this money that the banks will have injected into their balance sheets? Is this just going to create another consumer debt bubble for people when the health crisis abates? And then another crash? Just who is this supposed to help?
Iwrite (Santa Fe)
@SC You are absolutely correct. At least in the near term this only helps the wealthy. Furthermore it follows on the heels of the preceding cut that drove the market down, as today's futures indicate this rate cut will also do. People with credit cards have a liquidity problem, not the banks. The definition of madness is repeating the same action and expecting a different result.
Tom (San Diego)
Zero interest rates play into Trump's scenario, i.e. it's all in the stock market, i.e. appearances. Not a thing to do with health, welfare, test kits, people dying, etc. As long as the market looks good and the Fed follows Trump's instructions he ( Trump ) believes he's winning. He's not, but he believes.
DG (Idaho)
@SC Why the rich elite of course.
Gerry O'Brien (Ottawa, Canada)
I wonder why countries all over the world, particularly Italy and neighboring countries in Europe who are deep in fear with an overworked health system, rising cases and deaths, are not rising in a wave of fury at China for its gift to the world that keeps on giving and is taking away and destroying? WHY ???
Leslie (Amherst)
@Gerry O'Brien Exactly how would that help? And what if the next virus came from Canada? Should the world direct its fury at you? Xenophobic scapegoating is not going to save lives. For proof, just watch the trajectory of the virus in the US over the next three weeks. You'll learn just how "great" America is under the rule of Trump and Friends.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Gerry O'Brien Probably because we all knew this pandemic was coming eventually. It doesn't really matter from where.
Arthur (Texas)
@Gerry O'Brien I think Italy and neighboring countries have more important things to do than have temper tantrums about this. Anyway, experts have been warning about a pandemic flu for years now. The only one to be furious at is the incompetence of the Trump admin, who stalled every single process available to prepare for this.
gene (fl)
Lets put Biden in charge, he and Obama only let these banks get 40% bigger since the last time they crashed.
J Anders (Oregon)
@gene I thought Trump was " the only one who can fix it"?
TVance (oakland)
@gene Stop blaming Obama. This is happening on Trump’s watch. He’s responsible for all that follows.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
@gene It doesn't matter what Pres Obama did. All that matters now is whether Trump's handling of the current health crisis is effective. It's not.
There for the grace of A.I. goes I (san diego)
This Virus Crisis compared to the Wildfire Crisis or the Homeless Crisis that California has been in for Over a Decade with Full Democrat Control is being Handled EXCELLENT by The White House Compared to the Failed leadership on the West Coast!
mmk (Silver City, NM)
I don't remember nationwide panic buying of toilet paper, nor do I recall the complete collapse of the stock market, during the wildfire season.
Garrett Light (Bangor Maine)
It’s Federal policy that places California is these straits. It’s best if they secede because the US is a failed state. What about the shortage of testing kits?
Scott (Bronx)
@There for the grace of A.I. goes I Trump completely botched it. Denying it weeks and weeks when they could have ramped up testing kit manufacture now they're caught flat-footed to our loss. The Donald is still rich, however. I don't expect his fan base will admit it but the rest of America can see the incompetence quite clearly.
jhanzel (Glenview)
Fed Slashes Rates to Near-Zero and Unveils Sweeping Program to Aid Economy So Trump [and Sean and Rush] talk about how minimal the virus is, but now will claim fame for doing so much. You know, the same kinds of things President Oabam did that Rush and Sean and Trump and most of the GOP screamed about. Obama wasted money of autos. But airlines and cruise ships "deserve" hundreds of billions?
GUANNA (New England)
@jhanzel Oh it is still a hoax in their mind and always will be. Trump only sees this as a reelection challenge.
Pomy (Illinois)
The drastic and desperate Fed rate cut breeds FEAR, not confidence. Time needs to play out and let the economy HURT, then consider lowering the rate. Now the ammunition has been spent.
@Pomy Trump satisfied, that is important. We do not want to fight against a virus and a acting President.
Allison (Seattle, WA)
Today, I received a reminder from the dept of education that my student loan payment is due in 2 weeks and a few days. I am fortunate to be able to pay that bill. But what happens to those who can't? Where is the relief for general Americans outside of the rich and wealthy? The current response by the federal government is nowhere near adequate. Do better, elected officials.
BC (New York)
"The Fed also eliminated bank reserve requirements...." This seems of great importance and deserves more than just a passing reference. Article does not say whether this was a temporary measure and what the implications of such a change are. I hope the author will follow up on this.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
0% sounds great ... if they'll allow ordinary citizens to borrow from the Fed, too. Instead, they've helped out banks and large borrowers, not taxpayers.
E.G. (NM)
@Barry Short It is the GOP way, after all, to shriek about the economic damage that is occurring, while ignoring the PEOPLE who support the economic structure. They funnel aid to the rich and ignore the people/workers who produce goods and services on which the "economy" is built. We NEED change this fall.
Observer (midwest)
We will awake from this delirium in a few weeks to find that we "social isolated" ourselves into a recession -- or worse. What nation can close its schools, institutions of government and shutter countless small businesses without economic consequences? We don't need more money in the economy -- we are awash in liquidity already. We need more common sense. People die -- especially old people with underlying health issues (I am one of these myself.) Thousands of deaths, even tens of thousands, from this virus are not terribly demographically significant in a population of one-third billion people. Media-stoked over-reaction, combined with hatred of Trump, has already put millions of people out-of-work. The low-wage workers in the heavily populated service industries are headed down the drain. Where is all our pious concern for minorities as these often economically marginal people are left with no wages, no job security and no child care such as the public schools provide? How are they supposed to get to work with public transportation cut back? Go ahead --work from home. Most people -- low income, especially -- don't have that option.
David (New York)
@Observer problem is when the hospitals collapse people with other conditions start dying as an indirect consequence of the pandemic. If I have to choose between an unclear (ten thousand, hundred thousand probably more) number of fatalities, humans of any age, race and class and the Economy/capitalism. I'll always choose to preserve human lives. I believe this is what any healthy government should do
Lew Fournier (Kitchener)
@Observer You think the threat is overblown. Only a Republican-validated scientist -- i.e. Donald Trump -- can make that assessment.
Name (Location)
@Observer Maybe you're out west and expect less of a problem than the populous urban areas that do actually generate the majority of economic growth in this country. But pathogens spread without respect to our pedestrian concerns so I imagine you too will become a part of this contagion story. You are just some # of days behind. Yes, low wage workers are at great risk but blindly pretending this isn't happening will not mitigate the health risk or the economic consequences. It is precisely because we treat low-wage folks with a reckless disdain that they are going to be so disproportionately affected. It is because we have orchestrated an entire workforce strata bereft of living wage, job security, sick leave that those people suffer now when society must respond with an aggressive contagion effort. You have most definitely gotten the cart before the horse. And your callousness toward the elderly (and those a lot less than elderly) who will die is of a part and parcel with those who dismiss the struggles of the working class. You have seen the enemy, and he is you. But go ahead and vote against your own best interests this fall. I, on the other hand, will look forward to seeing Trump and all his little ducklings paddling with futility in their lame duck pond. Vote, people, Vote.
617to416 (Ontario via Massachusetts)
It's time to be brutally honest: the American system of government is a failure and urgently needs to be changed. The Constitution and its divided system of government may have been good in 1787. But in our modern world, with our lives completely dependent on a complex global network of interdependent technologies and institutions, we cannot leave essential functions of government to a fragmented set of competing bodies run by amateurs and incompetents. Yet this is what the Founders' system does. Federalism fragments power between multiple states and the federal government. Separation of powers splits the legislature from the executive and pits the two against each other. Bicameralism divides and weakens the legislature. And our electoral and representative systems make the government unresponsive to the people. We are stuck with divided government that is inefficient, prone to gridlock, and ultimately unaccountable for what happens. On top of this, the Constitution leaves too many of the powers of these different governmental bodies unclear, allowing the Courts to arbitrarily overturn legislation and regulation and re-set the balance of powers between the government's divisions based on the whims of just five Supreme Court justices. Maybe worst of all the fragmentation leaves a power void that is most easily filled by an authoritarian president. The nation simply cannot function with a government this bad. If we don't change it, we will certainly be destroyed by it.
caljn (los angeles)
@617to416 The government has only been a "failure", and it is though can be fixed, since Reagan and the republicans saw their diminishing prospects demographically and then rigged the system in their favor. Quite resourceful they. I commend them on their foresight, planning and implementation. Unfortunate for the majority though.
cube monkey (Maryland)
@617to416 Either evolution or revolution...pick one.
Joe Average (The Back Row)
The Trump organization carries a LOT of debt. He’ll benefit tremendously from any reduction in interest rates, and even more from the return of inflation. All his policies make sense when viewed from this lens.
KC (Okla)
@Joe Average And there you have it.
Dr if (Bk)
Back when Trump was ramming through his tax cuts for the rich which blew out the budget deficit, it was clear that if there were an economic emergency the Fed and the Federal Govt would have less capacity to respond. Lo and behold, we’re in an emergency and the best the Fed can do is slash rates from nearly nothing to practically nothing, and the best Trump can think up is ‘let’s have a ‘Payroll tax cut’.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Local officials alarmed by dearth of ventilators, hospital beds A health system, overwhelmed. Republican's mission accomplished.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood, NM)
For the record, Trump proposed a 12% budget cut for NIH for 2020.
E.G. (NM)
@W.A. Spitzer Because, in Trump's world, ignorance IS bliss. He functions happily in his disconnected, nonsensical mode every day. WE the People suffer.
Alice (New York City)
Re this interest rate cut: How are we senior citizens who depend on CD interest to pay our rent, food, etc. supposed to exist with 0% interest rates. No one can honestly say social security payments can cover our basic needs. Another Trump attack on the old and/or poor. Historically, interest rates ran about 3% on average. These last few years have left so many of us in poverty and, yes, some of us even homeless too.
C (JC)
@Alice They're just returning rates to where they were for the entire Obama presidency. Was that "an attack on the poor"?
E.G. (NM)
@Alice You are all too correct, but few people think in the vein you do. In our culture of soundbites, low rates are good (they stimulate business, allegedly). In the real lives of real people, though, much that governs the "economy" - at least by government - has no basis in reality. Nor does this administration concern itself with the sufferings of those of us who are not producing "wealth" -- that is to say our retired elders, the disabled, the working poor, those not investing in the markets/banking, and /or the nearly-99% who live check to check.
banana (Lafayette IN)
@Alice you bought at a higher rate. just dont buy them now. wait a few months. also how are you living on 2% interest or whatever it was? are you mega rich? sounds like it.
Orla Schantz (Denmark)
Doesn’t ANYBODY get it? As Jerome Powell said when cutting the Fed’s benchmark rate by 100 basis points to support the economy "as we weather disruptions caused by the coronavirus." And further “The actions will foster a more rigorous return to normal" There IS no normal. There is a NEW corona normal that we don’t know and cannot control by the OLD normal.
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
Fed slashed the interest rate -- all about the Benjamins -- this still isn't fixing the real issue -- sick people, dead people, people losing their jobs and not being able to pay their bills and the recession that's happening when we finally get a handle on the health crisis. Trump is the playing the shell game -- also moving the deck chairs on the Titanic and it's still going to sink. His next distraction will be pardoning Michael Flynn -- as though that will take peoples' minds off of the fact that the schools are closed, their parents are in danger of dying from a virus for which there is no inoculation or even a test, they can't buy a lot of products at the supermarket and they are losing their jobs as businesses and states shut down to create "social distancing."
E.G. (NM)
@Amanda Bonner Well stated, and scarily true.
JP (Portland OR)
Interest rates, huh. Why hasn’t any other country thought of this...not. Really helps the mass of self-employed, hourly workers and probably a majority of Americans who aren’t business execs or corporate minions. Just another gift to big business that won’t trickle anywhere but back into the company pockets. Trump thinks this is a stock market problem. He probably is right about one thing: for ol’ Individual One this soon will be a former-no-longer-protected-indicted-in-NY kinda problem.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@JP. Trump cares about the stock market because his followers love to cite market gains when talking about what a great job he is doing. Which is odd since I imagine that relatively few of them own stock.
KC (Okla)
@Barry Short Most of donald's supporters think most socks are make in Mexico.
Chris from PA (Wayne, PA)
So is this it? Regular folks don't matter. Wall Street and large corporations continue to be fed (pun intended) while everyone else suffers? What will it take to get our system to help the average American? Apparently, this pandemic is not doing it.
DL (Berkeley, CA)
We need to implement measures being tested in Italy. Italy has not run out of food and toilet paper. It has prevented hoarding. Denmark, the country some of our wannabe leaders use as example, is in the process of implementing these. So is Austria and Poland. (1) Shut down non-essential businesses. (2) Limit the number of shoppers in stores and ration the purchases. (3) To enforce (1) and (2) put NG on the streets.
gdurt (Los Angeles CA)
The only people I want to hear from in these "briefings" are people like Fauci and health care officials. Our federal cheerleaders are failing massively to deliver the one thing they're tasked to do - inform and calm a panicked population. Insanely tone-deaf and apparently incapable of a shred of empathy, Trump boasts of run on grocery stores as a great sign people are spending money, cuts fed rates to zero as though this matters to people who have nowhere to go and nothing to spend money on even if they had any left - and Pence continues to waste time tongue-bathing him for his fabulousness. This is serious. Stick with the serious people who might actually save us.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@gdurt. Pence has only one goal ... to ensure that he remains on the ticket this fall. Being competent won't help him in that regard, but spending his time praising Trump will.
gailweis (new jersey)
To those who still support Trump: Why? We look to our President for guidance, for compassion in times of trouble, for leadership and for someone who will tell us that our government is working to help us get through a pandemic. Instead. we have a President who has no compassion, no empathy, and no heart.
E.G. (NM)
@gailweis AND no realistic plan - other than "stimulate business." In the meantime, Trump - from the other side of his mouth - wants to reduce the National Institutes of Health budget by some 12; hope to, cut health programs; has put kids at risk of malnutrition and disease through Medicaid cuts; and has his eye on Social Security, disability benefits. Medicare drug plans, etc. Trump does NOTHING for the average American, except lie to them when he opens his mouth. He cares only for his - and his friends' - fortunes.
SAE (Philadelphia, PA)
No amount of quantitative easing or reducing the interest rates to near zero, will protect the American people from the health and economic threats presented by the coronavirus pandemic. It is obvious that Trump put a gun to Powell’s head and ordered him to do this. By the way, stock market futures as a result of this, Are now down the limit for Monday.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
President Trump was providing a public service by taking no responsibility for closing the Pandemic Office in 2018. He is washing his hands of it a) To remind us to wash our ands 2) To remind the evangelicals that he following biblical law and the fine example of that other great leader Pontius Pilate.
charlotte (pt. reyes station)
I worry about young families who live from paycheck to paycheck. Many will be thrown out of work. What is the relief for them?
Glenn (New Jersey)
@charlotte "Many will be thrown out of work. What is the relief for them?" You have Pelosi's and the Democrats' bill which protect the workers, but... oh yeah, in the fine print, it doesn't. It exempts all the companies that don't have unemployment benefits and reimburses the ones who do. Basically another bill that helps companies and not people.
Bar1 (Ca)
The trump-politicized Fed is scaring people and markets. Cluelessness rules the day and we are now rudderless. Thanks trump, you own this!
Really (NY)
Are Americans capable of acting for the greater good? We'll find out in 2-4 weeks.
Zero rate means nothing if working class most of cannot earn a living and cannot go to work or are getting laid off and pay our bills.
Frank (Boston)
Why is the Times calling for MORE Federal regulation at a time when it is clear that Federal regulation prevented scores of Universities and major Hospitals from doing COVID 19 testing? When Federal regulation resulted in thousands of Americans coming from Europe being crowded together for hours in airport Customs and Homeland Security lines, doubtless causing infections to spread?
Allison (Texas)
@Frank: How about BETTER federal regulations. Ones devised by people who know how to organize a government and run it properly!
J Anders (Oregon)
@Frank You can't test without test kits. Trump turned down kits from WHO and Germany. What were left with are 'exceptional' results for our oh-so-exceptional country.
Ida (NYC)
Some people are capable of devising sensible and effective regulations.
Unaffiliated (New York)
I guess this means that all savings accounts and money market funds are worthless, Trump is getting what he wants, and I’ll bet that he is already refinancing all of his real estate. We can’t even spend the now-worthless money, because the Coronavirus has caused almost everything to be shut down. So who is benefitting from the pandemic? Could it be the president himself? It’s certainly not me or you.
CacaMera (NYC)
Dear Mayor. Why is the Carousel in Central Park still open? Why are gyms still open?
Times Reader NYC (NYC)
@CacaMera The Central Park carousel is owned by the Trump Organization.
Hobo (SFO)
No different from price gouging. Trump and company are using an unfortunate and serious illness to gouge the public further to enrich themselves . Makes me sick to the stomach. Can someone explain how lowering rates to pump up the stock market benefit most of us who have nothing to do with the stock market ? Shouldn’t we be building hospitals like the Chinese did, developing vaccines, and do everything we can to combat this virus , instead ?!
Opinioned! (NYC)
At least Republicans are consistent: Whatever happens, keeping the rich happy is the number 1 priority.
Dave (Chicago)
@Opinioned! Come November, remember that famous Second City mantra: Don’t get mad...get even!
Teresa Garcia Justo (Madrid Spain)
I am from Spain and even though our health system has been declared one of the best in the world I have come to think no country is really prepared for this. We are always a few steps behind developments. Please take it seriously and demand action. I am quarantined myself.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
I don't see any sign that Trump will even consider that he should "hunker down."
Bar1 (Ca)
Hopefully, he won’t.
Look at the people flanking Dr. Fauci. Let's just say it. They're phonies, every one of them. Pence the smooth-taling Man From Glad, Munchkin the movie mogul, Dr. Carson the, ah, brain surgeon. Might as well put Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh on that stage. And Jared, of course. I can picture Hillary Clinton giving some believable reassurance. That boring bureaucratic stuff like coordinating with other world leaders, letting the experts speak without contradicting them. Realizing there is more to life than the stock market and re-election. At least a feeling of some competence. Well, we'll go with what we have. As our First Lady/Supermodel would say, Be Best!
William Thomas (California)
@JR She might as well break out the old "I DON'T CARE" jacket.
Brewster’s Millions (Santa Fe)
The young people, the same ones who have flocked to Bernie demanding socialistic policies, are the ones who will spread this virus around the country. They have no sense of responsibility, as evidenced by the scenes from NY, New Orleans, and LA.
Stephanie (CO)
@Brewster’s Millions I'm sure that is true of some young people. However, I am younger (and support Sanders) and have been staying at home out of concern for more vulnerable folks. However, my father in his 70s has been traveling to large events around CA because he only listens to Trump and right-wing media and has not thought this a big deal. It will be totally gone by May when it warms up, he says! (He claims I am brainwashed by liberal media and prays that I see the Truth.) Similarly, a conservative neighbor in his 70s is going around everywhere as normal and was complaining to me on the phone yesterday that everyone is being crazy and this is no worse than the flu at all. Around me, I personally see a disproportionate number of right-wing folks--many of older age--having "no sense of responsibility." You might want to re-think your claim.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
@Concerned for the Future. We can’t get a test, but Donald can supposedly get one? I guess he’s special, right?
Mark (California)
As of 4:11 pm PST, the S&P 500 futures are down over 5%, and trading has been halted. https://www.investing.com/indices/us-spx-500-futures This also shows the complete lack of confidence investing professionals have in the current administration to handle this mess. The fed just showed their entire hand, and the markets didn't like it. Expect a bloodbath tomorrow when markets open.
Theo Baker (Los Angeles)
Trump and company all need to step down. They have failed our nation. At every step, they have made the situation worse. We have contingency plans for pandemics. Hospitals and first responders sets train for these situations. But Jared is crowd sourcing solutions on Facebook. This is a disgrace and a national tragedy. Trump needs to hand control over to crisis and emergency experts. Now. If he does not, his cabinet should force him. If his cabinet and the gop are too feckless, we must take to the streets in whatever way we can.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Our learning curve on Covid-19 will do harm but is Trump's OJT learning curve that will have lasting ill effects on the nation and the world.
Jennifer R. (Minnesota)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease There is no OJT learning curve for Trump because he is incapable of learning.
H. Clark (Long Island, NY)
The media has to press hard against Trump’s myriad lies and obfuscations, particularly about having coronavirus “under control.” It is not, and if he thinks it is, he has no business being president. He is delusional and spreading misinformation. We really need someone in charge who isn’t a pathological liar. President Obama, can you step in and take control — at least until this crisis abates?
Another Mother (USA)
All the care in the world for the bloody stock market and NOTHING for workers, freelancers, families, humans. When will you wake up from this nightmare called capitalism?
Donna Chang (New York)
National Socialism at work. Bail out the Banksters II -- while tax payers get fleeced. Where is the Republican Tea Party now?
KC (Okla)
As of tonight the Fed and the Administration is in full panic mode. Appears donald has brought his lifetime ____show to the United States.
Joe B (Norwich, CT)
The government sure seems to be tripping over itself, in it's efforts to address a problem, that was classified, by said government's leader, as a hoax. Hmmm.. We're at 15 and it will soon be zero.. Hmmm... I like the numbers where they're at now.. Do your country a favor, and never, ever, vote Republican again. Nobody. Not even your local dog catcher.
TJS (Attained Statehood 1848)
Trump & Mnuchin will make sure the health insurance industry makes out like bandits while the patients get fleeced as usual. Surprise!
J Venner (Toronto)
I find it peculiar that the Times hasn't shared any data here from the neighbour it shares the longest border in the world: Canada. We do have approximately 250 cases here so far. Not a lot, but I don't see you reporting on why the US hasn't addressed travel between our two countries.
Ponsobny Britt (Frostbite Falls, MN.)
Too bad Trump (once he's voted out of office...and it looks more and more likely on count of his incomoetencec and ineptitude) can't be indicted for involuntary manslaughter.
Aaron (US)
In 2008 we began a new era. Terrified and grasping, the Fed bought up a bunch of debt. It never sold it back. Now, delighted with its new toy, its buying "huge amounts" more. What could go wrong? Anything to keep the Ponzi scheme going.
Alan J. Shaw (Bayside, NY)
Exactly the same quantitative easing policy that the Obama administration employed to revive the moribund housing market and failing economy after the Bush financial crash in 2008. It was deplored by Trump, but it will be much harder for the Treasury Dept. and the Fed to solve this crisis.
Catalina (CT)
The best and smartest thing Trump could do to get the economy going again is to: 1- stop lying and downplaying the potential severity 2- tell people to curtail as much social interaction as possible 3- remind America of the extra cleaning procedures often 4- Get the tests out and widely available so we Americans can get accurate information about the spread 5 provide financial relief for workers and affected businesses Cutting the federal discount rate is good to stimulate investment. Doing that now is not responsive to the problem.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
@Catalina I am on my way out the door... to the second restaurant meal of the day. The same thing I did after nine-11 and the 2008 Crash... I use my income to boost others. Because I rather like seeing smiles on the face of the owner/managers and the employees. I do this despite having a full refrigerator/freezer.
MBW (State College)
The Fed can dial the interest rate down to zero, but we need need health policy to address the crisis. Trump’s vision is way too limited.
Ted Siebert (Chicagoland)
From the Ebenezer Scrooge school of government standpoint I can’t help but think that elderly people dying from the virus is less a financial burden for benefits they must provide whether it be social security or Medicare position.
J Anders (Oregon)
What happened to that 6% annual GDP growth Trump promised in 2017 when he gave away $10 trillion of our money?
BeccaA (Vermont)
I'm currently in France and the Minister of Health here announced yesterday that patients who take ibuprofen are more likely to have severe complications of Covid-19. There are several cases of severe illness here among otherwise healthy young people who took ibuprofen for their fevers before deteriorating to the point of needing respirators. He recommends taking tylenol for fever if you get the virus.
RES (Seattle and Delray Beach)
@BeccaA Thank you for this information. This is really useful. Stay well.
Lily (Reno)
@BeccaA Thanks for the useful information. Not very common these days.
Fred (Up North)
@BeccaA The Guardian carried this story this morning. No pay-wall for those interested.
Iana (Terziyska)
I want to add to this article. We leave in Arkansas or the so called bible belt. Churches here are not only not cancelled but encouraging people to attend and pray. So unless the government issues a mandatory closings of churches which I know it is impossible given the churches autonomy here this virus will spread like fire throughout the South.
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
@Iana I don't know about Arkansas, but nationally most houses of worship have stopped services.
mja (LA, Calif)
@Iana . . . at which time these people will demand and expect government assistance, paid for by the blues states, which they will get without any appreciation or gratitude.
Joe (NYC)
@Iana Good! It’s all a hoax if you’re a republican. Just ask Trish Regan.
GI (Milwaukee)
What about seniors who have to depend on their Social Security and a little bit of interest income to live? Not only is there nothing to help them, but this will hurt them.
Liz (Woodinville)
@GI How many of those seniors repeatedly voted for politicians to impose these very policies upon us?
Tamza (California)
@GI This is CORPORATE SOCIALISM. Let the banks suffer. Let credit come to a halt; perhaps THEN people will realize that socialism isnt so bad after all
drw (NNJ)
Our schools are temporary-closed for now. I was shocked to see one of our neighbors are having a party for kids! Hope nothing would happen, but one, many, or all parents may feel guilty later.
Barry Short (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
@drw. I've read similar complaints elsewhere. Parents seem to think that this is a great time to set up play dates!
Tom (NYC)
The interest rate is cut to almost zero but does that apply to credit card debt? Many Americans pay 29%. Do they get the same break that the large investment banks get? How is this really helping the ordinary person? If there is a moratorium on student interest how about one on credit card debt and late fees. Why is the Government not helping all people?
Tamza (California)
@Tom Of course this is to HELP the banks ONLY. It would be MUCH better if the FED PAID off the debts of the 'people'. BUT that is not the 'capitalist' way -
Ellen (New York)
@Tom Because we don't matter to the republicans. Only those entities that make money matter. Hope that clears it up.
Dave (Chicago)
@Tom Banks will help-they’ll knock it down to 28.5%.
heinryk wüste (nyc)
Are my credit card interest rates being lowered too? But of course not.
Blue in Green (Atlanta)
Strangely, the Fed cutting interest rates doesn't make me desire to borrow or spend.
Patty (Sammamish wa)
@Blue in Green It’s geared for the rich not for the rest of America.
S B (Ventura)
@Blue in Green We were going to buy a house - Put in two full price offers last 2 weeks, and we didn't get a house. I think we dodged a bullit
BJay (Pennsylvania)
Not much is being said about the current statistics in China (especially at the original epicenter, Wuhan). Is anyone else following the daily Situation Reports from the WHO? They're showing that the number of new cases in the past 24 hours in Hubei province has plummeted to single digits; in other words a SIGNIFICANT drop (compare today's Situation Report #55 to one month ago when the new cases numbered in the thousands). And yeah, I must say that at this point I trust China's testing numbers more than I trust the numbers here in the US.
CacaMera (NYC)
@BJay Based on my reading of worldometers.info/coronavirus China is out of the woods. I encourage you to study the individual countries by clicking on them and looking at their Outcome of Cases individually. From where I stand, China is now in the clear, and US chart looks like Italy's from 3 weeks ago or China's on Feb 2nd.
Ben Balcombe (NH)
China went 100 percent against the virus. Lockdown 50 million people, go door to door to find people with fevers and take them off to isolation sites, further split them into those with confirmed COVID-19 and those without.
Andrew (Toronto)
@BJay in China they imposed drastic measures with a heavy hand. in North America we're trusting people to take a financial hit and self-isolate. I doubt we'll have as much success as the Chinese without addressing the issue of personal finances.
Mark Eisner (Ithaca NY)
States, cities and other institutions are taking action despite the lack of national leadership. If that works to bend the curve, Trump will either say “I told you it wasn’t that big of a problem” or take all the credit for solving it - or both.
Bill (AZ)
My life and the lives of my loved ones are to a degree dependent upon donald "we're doing a tremendous job" trump and devin "It's a great time to go out" nunes. And, no, my shift key to capitalize as appropriate is not broken. There is no god.
@Bill Nope. And as the last election showed, sometimes good things happen to very bad people.
baba (Ganoush)
Is it possible Trump is taking orders from Putin to make the situation more confusing and chaotic?
American Marlene Barbera (USA Portland, OR)
Putin’s endgame; oil industry destroyed, America looks ridiculous and is riven with social conflict and Plague sweeps the earth, killing all of the non-rich, the evangelicals think it’s the rapture.
TS (Lehigh Valley)
Possible? I'd say likely.
Dr.MD (California)
@baba Well, it is possible, however I think that Trump is mirroring Boris Johnson and UK response. They have very limited testing there, streets are full, businesses opened and social distancing not practiced. UK wants to develop "Herd Immunity" risking exposing chunk of population to Covid-19 with horrible consequences. I think, Trump is mimicking this, only now realizing that this is "Bigly" mistake.
Jim Brokaw (California)
I'm not sure that borrowing money is the right response to the uncertainty and economic disruption we all are facing. Seems like pumping up economic activity more directly, like by giving people jobs, or spending money on construction would be more efficient. Or here's a radical idea: how about massive federal donations to state and local governments to help offset the costs of paying teachers and other workers affected by mandatory closures of their workplaces? How about spending money hiring people to help care for the people unfortunate enough to get infected? How about money to help pay bills for people who get laid off, or have no paid sick leave otherwise?
Robert (Seattle)
Lordy. Life comes before profit and politics. I guess this bunch has never understood that and never well. Greetings from a hot spot where things are going to be much worse than they should have been thanks to what's his name. Re: "The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero and said it would buy up huge amounts of government debt ..." and "Trump Administration Is Relaxing Oversight of Nursing Homes: A proposal would loosen federal rules meant to control infections, just as the coronavirus rips through nursing homes."
Karen (Seattle)
@Robert I thought "Vema" or whatever her name is, from CMS said that they are stepping up inspections of nursing homes and tightening up infection control. I can't stand her - a leftover from George W's administration but I think this may be fake news. Sometimes we need to give someone a break. I think they are scared enough to try to get it right. Who knows.
Robert (Seattle)
@Karen My quote was from today's NY Times. I guess that makes this real news: "Trump Administration Is Relaxing Oversight of Nursing Homes: A proposal would loosen federal rules meant to control infections, just as the coronavirus rips through nursing homes."
r (Honolulu)
Fed slashed rates to zero. Will my credit card rates also go down?
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
@r Only if your balance due has first been paid in full.
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
@r Do not hold your breath, sir.
Thom Marchionna (Bend, Oregon)
0% interest rates! Whew, I feel soooo much healthier now.
H Schwarz (Copenhagen, Denmark)
As a European, I’m baffled to see American officials and journalists cramped together in a small room at press briefing after press briefing, when a major advice is for everybody to keep a distance from others.
Robert James (Cambridge, MA)
@H Schwarz Are European press briefing rooms more roomy?
juf (Netherlands)
@H Schwarz totally agreed ! Watched the sorry performance of The Unprecedented during the national emergency speech. How many hands did he shake :) ?
jp (RI)
@H Schwarz My thoughts exactly! Puzzling to say the least.
proffexpert (Los Angeles)
So, all these financial plans are rushing forward, but what about healthcare for all those who get sick?
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
@proffexpert Buy stock in urgent care centers.
S Butler (New Mexico)
Dow futures are down 1000+ tonight after the Fed's actions. Does that mean that the news about the coronavirus and the economic downturn is worse than we thought? I already think it's pretty bad. How much worse?
S B (Ventura)
@S Butler Market is going to dive bomb at opening tomorrow
trumped (Oregon)
Trump tweets We are doing very precise medical screenings at airports...I came back from Costa Rica on 3/12 and was asked questions in Costa Rica about recent travel to China but not one screening ? in USA on arrival...went through the Global Entry fingerprint verification where there was no evidence of hand sanitizer on the glass finger ID scanner touched by thousands. No evidence of a thermometer anywhere and a passenger from LAX to PDX was allowed to board and was coughing the whole flight. Is this evidence of "very precise medical screening"?
Holly (Canada)
Imagine the families who have lost a loved one and then watch the president come out and talk about the interest rates. Not a word of condolence, just a “relax” and take it easy approach (because tomorrow the stock market will soar) and everything will work out just fine. Walmart and Walgreens get a mention but not an acknowledgement of those who have lost their lives. Not even a hint of empathy, just bring him the numbers to satisfy the financial markets. Sure he has to protect the U.S. economy but he should at least pretend he cares about people first.
Maple Surple (New England)
And when cutting rates to zero doesn't work anymore, what then?
Louis (Denver, CO)
@Maple Surple, Other parts of the world have attempted negative interest rates but that is fraught without problems and generally has not worked out well.
Probably war with Iran. That’s been the historical response from the GOP when it really hits the fan.
Maple Surple (New England)
@RS Oof...I wish that wasn’t a plausible possibility
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
The best thing that can happen for the nation now is for Trump to declare victory, announce his work is finished and he will resign tonight at midnight.
AR (San Francisco)
Here we go again. Just like Obama. Rescue the billionaires and leave millions of working people to suffer catastrophe. Lost wages, jobs and homes? Who cares! Wall Street cries and they'll spend Trillions. Time for a real revolution. Humanity needs nothing less.
J Anders (Oregon)
@AR TARP was passed by the lame duck Republican Congress in 2007 and signed by George W Bush. Another inconvenient piece of history Republicans hope you won't remember.
Leslie (Amherst)
Money. That's it. That is all that Trump and his cronies care about. This crisis is about people and lives. Money is a game that needs to be put to the side for the moment. EVERYBODY IS going to lose; why should it just be confined to the poor? If you think it isn't about the money and "America and My Buddies Only!!" read the news about Trump trying to gain exclusive access to a possible German-made vaccine.
juf (Netherlands)
@Leslie There is NO way Germany would allow the company to sell out abroad for exclusive use. Besides, the company itself stated that a possible vaccine is for global use and not national use.
Eero (Somewhere in America)
Once again. Trillions for the banks, nightmare for the people. Pelosi did her best and got some billions for public health spending, relief from testing costs for individuals, extended coverage under Medicaid, and some millions for sick pay. Clearly a pittance as far as this administration sees it. And if they don't die, individuals will see their life savings disappear. Thanks Republicans. For nothing.
Glenn (New Jersey)
@Eero "Pelosi did her best and got some billions for public health spending" The fine print seems to indicate otherwise.
Johan D. (Los Angeles)
Almost zero! Remember when countries like Japan, Italy and Greece amongst others went to zero, sometimes even below and American Banks and the Fed considered that extremely dangerous. They were right that the countries that did were risking a monumental financial crisis and it took them decades and an absolutely fortune to re-stabilize their countries. Guess what after Trump’s tirade against the Fed, they caved in a lowered the rate with a full point. Cowardice and irresponsible behavior can now be found not only in Senate and House, Wall Street and Banks but now even at the Fed. This can only lead to a recession from which it is very unlikely that it can be reversed. Trumps dictatorial demands will end up bankrupting the country and its citizens. A freaked out President whose presidency depends on Wall Street, has decided that virus or not, a catastrophic chaotic virus response, health care or not, people being fired (free of charge for corporations) and send home with no pay or given a short band-aid pay, none of that he cares for, he just want the CEO’s that pay for his campaign to be happy. Americans have to wake up and realize that with the absurd 1-1/2 trillion dollars tax give away, creation of endless tax loopholes for the rich, stopping at all cost wage increases, destroy the EPA, the CDC, climate agreements, nothing of that will ever benefit them, it will destroy and bankrupt them. No more hiding behind prayers, this man belongs in jail.
Jackie (Naperville)
It is increasingly looking as if China will come out of this stronger and the USA will come out of this weaker. MAGA!
bkbyers (Reston, Virginia)
It’s one thing to be a “problem solver”. It’s another to have credibility, and this president has done much to fritter away his credibility. In his appearances during White House press briefings on the corona virus, the president comes across as wooden and primarily interested in economic problems and his great leadership in confronting the virus. And the vice president and other cabinet chiefs always pay obeisance to the president while making their statements about the progress in confronting the virus. If anyone is solving problems it is the people at the U.S. Public Health Service and at the CDC and NIH who are on the front line of confronting the virus. Many are physicians with previous experience dealing with epidemics. They appear steady, informed, willing to share the truth and to tell us what the facts are in different parts our country. They are not delivering specious feel-good messages. They know that they don’t know all the answers and that we have a long way to go in confronting the spread of the virus. I trust their evaluations and descriptions of what it happening. I don’t trust the president.
Opinioned! (NYC)
The markets will spiral tomorrow as the bankers have awakened to the fact that Trump is unfit to lead due to his insanity. Calling the COVID-19 a hoax is one of the many irrefutable evidences of his insanity. Another is declaring himself to know a lot of this virus stuff more than pandemic experts. The questions is: When will Americans—both citizens and their elected lawmakers—accept that the president is insane?
David Henry (Concord)
Desperation hovers over us. The virus must be removed in November.
Bunk McNulty (Northampton MA)
Trump timeline: The President of the United States in his own words: January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” February 28: “We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical.” March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.” March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.” March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect.” March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.” March 6: “I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.” March 9: “This blindsided us." March 10: "It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away." March 13: “I take no responsibility at all”
S B (Ventura)
@Bunk McNulty I'd like to see a video complication of these statements. They are even more disturbing when trump says these things out loud.
Jennifer R. (Minnesota)
@Bunk McNulty Thank you! Fantastic summary!
Adrian Bennett (Mississippi)
@Bunk McNalty. Your timeline should put it all in perspective for those Failure Trump followers......the “leader” is not up to it...vote a Democrat for your survival.
Hank (Portland, OR)
Shouldn't extra hospital infrastructure ( venlators, beds, supplies, etc) be pushed out of the reserves rather than being pulled? It seems like some good planning an execution could avoid many casualties if we were to use the people and assets of our government to lead rather than follow. Vision, planning and execution to save lives is lacking from the top.
8i (eastside)
male fatalities outnumber female fatalities by 2:1.
Fred (Up North)
@8i Hmmm, if this accurate I think as an over 70 male I find this comforting. Heaven knows the women couldn't do a worse job than the Trump crew.
Mark Alexander (UK)
The US economy is a house of cards. It is doubtful that these drastic measures of slashing interest rates and pumping more money into the system in the form of QE will do anything positive for the US economy in the long-term, nor will it do anything for the world economy. It's a Ponzi scheme, pure and simple. We need to build the whole system again from scratch, based on sound economic principles. The sooner we can do this, the sooner we will have a healthy economy again. As I said, the US economy is a house of cards – a house of cards built on shifting sands.
Spinoza (Oregon)
@Mark Alexander A little vague. Please provide specifics on rebuilding.
Mark Alexander (UK)
@Spinoza Basically, we need to get back to traditional economics. In traditional economics, money has value. You don't put your money in a bank and get zero return on your savings, for example. What we have had since the 2008 financial crisis is cheap money – very cheap money, in fact. That does nobody any good. It doesn't compensate savers for saving; it also doesn't help first-time buyers of houses. Why? Because cheap money pushes up house prices. So whilst mortgages are cheap, the price of houses soars, often beyond the reach of the young people who are trying to buy them. Then you have the stock market. The stock market was never meant to be an end in itself; rather, it was meant to be a reflection of the success of the businesses and corporations trading on that exchange. Their prices reflected their success. These days, the price of shares often bears no relation to the intrinsic value of the shares being traded. The prices of shares are manipulated by hedge fund managers, who are basically nothing but speculators and gamblers. They gamble with the money of others. I could say more, but space doesn't allow for much more, so I'll stop there.
Daygecko (Dallas, Texas)
If you have children, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the potential impact of the Coronavirus variant that is causing such concern…start modifying their activities to increase their safety. If they are very young, watch them constantly and step up methods to keep them from getting into toxic substances. If the hospitals become overwhelmed, and their staff are swamped, none of us will get the excellent emergency room service that we are accustomed to. Accidental poisoning or any serious injuries such as from car wrecks, playground injuries, etc. that would normally be taken care of in a reasonable amount of time might prove fatal.
Raj (Princeton)
If federal government can make hand sanitizers and disinfectants available that will have more calming effect that cutting interest rates. We are just a week away from Italy's situation. I wonder what's next when the death rates start to climb exponentially in coming weeks.
bjb3 (Sudbury Massachusetts)
I wish I could have faith that the Treasury and other government agencies would utilize additional authority in the interests of the broader citizenship and not fall prey to trump's eagerness to prop up the economy for his re-election. But Mnuchin and others, as we have seen from these coronavirus press conferences, are mere sycophants and will do and say what trump wants. Once Congress gives this administration what it wants there will be no further restraints or belief in good faith government actions.
Lucky Hazelip (LA)
We just landed at LAX about an hour ago, international arrivals. While it was not empty, it wasn’t crowded, everyone moved through immigration and customs easily. We were asked where we were traveling from (Fiji and Australia), and that was it. Two people wearing CDC vests were in the customs area, but they were only chatting with each other. No questions about symptoms (both Fiji and Australia asked and had us fill out forms with airline info and seat locations), and only Fiji took our temperatures. We chose to return 2 weeks early, due to worries about border closures and airline route cuts. I thought LAX was one of the airports screening international arrivals, but we didn’t see signs of it.
Andy G. (Atl., Ga.)
@Lucky Hazelip I think I might have stayed in Fiji.
SDT (Global Citizen)
How does this help people who lose their paychecks and won’t be able to pay mortgages, rent, credit cards or buy food and pay to keep the lights on? Will the needs of average Americans EVER matter more than protection of the wealthy? Not unless we start acting up.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
@SDT But wouldn't that be socialism?
SDT (Global Citizen)
@ Bob Guthrie that would be humanism, something we lack in spades
Fred (Up North)
Oh, good! The Trump/Kushner indebtedness gets a break. Wonder how much this is saving them? Meanwhile, our old-fashion savings accounts are now earning practically no interest. Is it good news that next tax year we will report zero interest income? Doubt that will help next year's budget deficit but who cares. Just curious how this will get people onto planes and into stores and restaurants. Thanks Trump.
Greg (San Diego)
@Fred they would have to renegotiate their loans to get the better rate. The rate doesnt just go down on every loan.
JT - John Tucker (Ridgway, CO)
The lowering of Fed rates will not affect people's interest rates on credit cards and mortgages. Better to announce issuance of 50, 75 and 100 year bonds and preserve faith in the dollar than have the Fed appear to respond to pressure from a serial bankrupt and mis-manager. I'd like to see a requirement phased in that for retail banks to qualify for FDIC & other benefits they and their subsidiaries need to conform to a usury limit- perhaps 5 points higher than prime- for charges and interest on all loans, including credit cards. Would be appropriate for the banks we bailed out to pass their savings on to their consumers who currently wil not see rates decline on their consumer credit costs.
Becky (CT)
@JT John Tucker Not likely with the current bunch. Corporate bottom line is their god, with the wellbeing of citizenry far lower on the list of priorities.
Tom (Los Angeles)
Listening to Trump and Pence and other the members of that team brag about what a great job they are doing is offensive in the extreme. I've never in my life seen so many people - late to game, woefully behind the curve - telling us what a job they are doing. They people they work for - the public - will be the judge of that, not them.
SallyPalaian (Suburban Detroit)
@Tom Agreed. I couldn't believe they wasted our time, and forced us to listen to the bragging and acknowledging of themselves. The rest of the world probably looks at us like we are little children in need of constant affirmation.
Alexander Harrison (Wilton Manors, Fla.)
@Tom TRY not complaining and accepting what the admin, is able to do for the citizenry, and realize that we have NEVER faced this level of crisis before in our history.Government is learning by doing.We were caught unprepared , like so many other countries, and the coronavirus is an emergency so much more serious than any other.This is no time for politically motivated accusations.
ALB (Dutchess County NY)
@Alexander Harrison Are you kidding? "there there" is going to help? There was plenty of notice that this was going to spread worldwide. We had plenty of time to put measures in place. We HAVE faced crises before, and that knowledge could have been easily extrapolated to this one. We have fast communication now allowing us to talk to people on the front line. But when you pretend its not happening, gut the CDC, and fire anyone who knows what to do in this situation, you blow the situation way out of control. There is absolutely no reason it has to be such a mess. The clown in the white house is clueless and people are going to die needlessly. And now, when the little guy could use help,, again he helps the corporations by lowering interest rates. Amateur hour. He is tanking the economy and decimating the population all at once.
Angry (Colorado)
Dropping interest rates will matter a hoot if people cannot get paid. If people cannot afford to feed their families. If people cannot afford to pay for housing. And on and on...
Becky (CT)
@Angry Pitchforks will be sharpened, metaphorically speaking. Revolutions are started when people face crises of the magnitude you mention.
Bezerkly (CA)
I am so tired of all the economic moves going towards helping corporate America. What about all the regular folks who primarily have savings accounts, like seniors. Slashing interest rates slashes our income.
Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
@Bezerkly The message (from Trump and his accomplices) is clear: you don't matter.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@Bezerkly House Democrats have taken steps...McConnell and the Republican Senate are MIA again. Interest rates on savings accounts have effectively been zero since 2007.
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
That interest has nothing to do with your savings interest rate. Your bank pays you enough interest to,keep you as a customer. What do you do if a store charges you too much? I expect you move your business. It works the same way at a bank. If you don’t move your account, per se they are paying you enough to,keep you. Different banks pay different rates. Shop around. If you don’t, then don’t complain.
JT - John Tucker (Ridgway, CO)
I won't add to the voices lamenting Trump's lies, stupidity, disorder & mismanagement addressing the pandemic. All true and indicative of gross mismanagement that will exacerbate suffering & deaths. The US economy depends on faith in the dollar. The Fed giving the impression it is responding to Trump, a serial bankrupt and mis-manager, risks that faith. At some point when dollars are printed to pay off dollars (debt) the world will question the stability and integrity of the dollar being built on a house of cards. This could end Fed ability to control interest rates. If long term rates rise in response to a sort of house of cards ponzi scheme we risk that a larger percentage of tax dollars will be used to pay interest on accrued debt rather than addressing infrastructure, social safety net and other needs. This risks an interest rate spiral in the wrong direction. The Fed's move under a trustworthy president would carry little risk. Better to have announced issues of a 100 year bond and leave rates until Trump shuts up.
Archibald McDougall (Canada)
Very convenient for anyone who borrows money on the scale of the Trump and Kushner families.
Concerned for the Future (Corpus Christi, Texas)
So where are the tests? Nothing for all us average folks out here? Everyone should get a test, now.
Boat52 (Naples, FL)
Once again, the humble savers of the U.S. are getting the short end of the deal. There is nothing 'federal' about the Federal Reserve. It is the bank for the bankers. And their buddies on the Street. Read the original charter of The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and then decide. Today, Federal Reserve Notes are backed by nothing. No surprise we have a financial crisis that was exposed by the Corona virus issue. A virtual house of cards built on IOUs. My asset is your liability, but you can't make good on it. And now they buy even more govie bonds with electronic clicks on their computers bloating their balance sheet. See what that did for the ECB and the countries in Europe. Are negative interest rates next....and then no more currency. Welcome to the 21st century of finance, one crisis after another in one generation.
RSB (New Hampshire)
@Boat52 Fear not, their house of cards can not be artificially propped up forever. The fact that they a private, for profit cartel charging interest on fiat loans to the federal government backed by nothing will be exposed. The fed was originally pitched and implemented on the premise of stabilizing the economy and preventing large fluctuations leading to recessions, depressions, extreme inflation, bank runs and failures. It prevented none of those things. Within two decades of it's charter, the country experienced the worst depression in it's history. Followed by a private Gold confiscation which was somehow justified under the premise that hording was worsening the very depression which he Fed was supposedly implemented to prevent. A boom bust cycle has existed ever since and the country has plunged further and further into debt. They bailed out the banks and institutions that cause the crisis of 2008. It's time to bail out the working class people that were devastated by it and ultimately got saddled with all the debt and interest from the bailouts. All of which was tacked on to the federal deficit.
Andy G. (Atl., Ga.)
@RSB You've got it backwards. The working class didn't cause any of the crises, so they don't get bailed out. The Republican Agenda at work.
nastyboy (california)
Trump says, “It makes me very happy,” Trump as usual betrays that he doesn't care about anything but the economy and how it affects his reelection. He is misreading sentiment in that people are FIRST concerned about their health....the economy issue has to take back seat to public health at this point in this crisis. This misapprehension I believe is fatal to his reelection.
HarlemHobbit (NYC)
@nastyboy You think there's going to be an election?
@nastyboy It makes him very happy. That's the only thing in this world that matters.
nastyboy (california)
@HarlemHobbit I read in this paper or the other one that it would take "an act of congress" to change the date, cancel the election, etc. Trump himself could not do this...there's statutory dates, etc. in the constitution that have to be followed or changed before this happening.
Jake (Salt Lake City)
How are small biz Mom and Pop shops being helped? We are not CEO's and still have bills to pay
angel98 (nyc)
@Jake And gig workers, freelancers, contract workers? Not a dime for them in any bill or interest cut.
Jeff (Northern California)
I am so tired of hearing Republicans call for unity in the last few days now that, because of THEIR dawdling and scapegoating and outright denial for two months, we have a genuine life or death crisis. They have stolen from us, cheated on us, and lied to us incessantly.. But now they are killing us. We cannot forgive them, ever.
Yeah (Taiwan)
At time of a pandemic crisis like this, a strong government who listens sound advice is needed. Our government has no wisdom, lacks direction, is fumbling like a child who made a mistake and is trying to shift the blame without thinking about how to rectify the matter. Large gatherings need to be cancelled. Government needs to give an order. Politicians are afraid of losing votes therefore not doing it. Short sighted. People need to wear masks in public transportation because it will stop the asymptomatic or mild carriers from shedding their viruses when they sneeze, clear their throats, or talk, and stop you from getting their droplet in your face, even if the seal is not complete. Why is the government not telling the public that? Because there isn’t enough masks to go around. They “don’t want you to panic. The solution would be to take over and increase domestic production of masks and protective gears and ration (the Chinese produce most of these masks and PPEs) as the Taiwanese government did way back in January. This way people do not panic buy. Our government doesn’t have the foresight nor the guts to do that. How can you avoid catching the virus by washing your hands in a sardine packed place like the O’Hare when people breathe down your neck?
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
Is this what Trump voters had in mind when they heard Trump's claim to make America great again?
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
I am a healthy American male but today I became violently ill upon hearing the tsunami of lies coming out of the mouths of Donald Trump and his sycophants. Here are some inconvenient facts: For months Donald Trump and his toadies called the Coronavirus a "Hoax" that was being used to try to bring Donald Trump down. Trump knew that If he didn't TEST Americans for Covid-19 he could be factual when he said, that the number of known cases is small and "going down." Trump recently said it's a "Foreign Virus" and that he had special medical knowledge because his Uncle was a famous MIT scientist. When all of this failed to calm the public, Jared Kushner asked Karlie Kloss's father, who IS a doctor, to ask his Facebook friends for coronavirus recommendations. How many additional Americans will get sick die because of Trump's incompetence? I don't know if I will get Covid-19 but Donald Trump makes me sick and embarrassed for America.
Rw (Canada)
So, today, March 15th, thousands of passengers were allowed to leave a cruise ship and hit the ground in Miami with zero testing before hand, despite the US Gov't knowing that the ship had good reason to believe the ship was infected (even the Canadian Government told them). https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article241209366.html
Mark B (NYC)
A desperate salesman is a dead salesman ! I'm afraid the Fed, under enormous pressure from our administration, has just shown the markets it's shaking kneecaps. Can't wait to see what numbers the Dow opens at tomorrow. I think it's a given trading will be suspended by 9.35am, I'm afraid.
J Anders (Oregon)
The Senate has not yet scheduled a vote for the coronavirus relief bill already passed by the House. The next vote the Republican led-Senate has scheduled is over the renewal of national security surveillance law, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. That is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/15/the-senate-has-not-yet-scheduled-a-vote-for-the-coronavirus-relief-bill-already-passed-by-the-house.html Fiddling while Rome burns. The one note tune of the GOP.
lynchburglady (Oregon)
@J Anders Well, yeah, but wasn't it important for Mitch McConnell to take a nice vacation with Kavanaugh over the weekend? So important that McConnell shut down the Senate in the middle of this crisis. Always vote Republican if you really don't care what happens to our country.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
House Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and NON-candidate for Mensa: “If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easy. Let’s not hurt the working people in this country...go to your local pub” In other words, "who cares if America has barely tested anyone for the coronavirus, just go out and spread the invisible coronavirus in your local community and give the pandemic the fuel it needs to wipe out the country" Never underestimate the intelligence of your elected officials, America.
angel98 (nyc)
@Socrates They just do not seem to care about infection or fatality. Their first instinct is to keep business alive and running a profit whatever the cost to people.
george eliot (annapolis, md)
Well, I'll get back my paper loss of 300K. But we'll still be dancing on the grave. Or perhaps more correctly, waiting in an airplane international arrivals hall with 1,000 others. Just what Dr. Trump ordered. Injecting money into our veins isn't going to protect us from the virus. This is all the result of having a sociopath in the White House, surrounded by a pack of obscene lackeys including, but not limited to, Verma, Pence, Azar, and Mnuchin, and junior sociopaths like Kushner, Miller, and the stooges from the Republican mob.
Mark (South Philly)
My goodness. Reading all of the negativity in the NYtimes comments section regarding this corona issue is sure disheartening! Surely there is something your federal government has done during this crisis that you're satisfied with. I'm more worried about the next virus as this one seems relatively harmless to most of us. How do we get China to clean up its act????
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood, NM)
@Mark ..... How do we get China to clean up its act????.... I think restoring appropriate funding of CDC and NIH would be more beneficial.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Mark "Relatively harmless"? Do you realize this is a variant of SARS that has a mortality rate 34x that of the seasonal flu, whic kills tens of thousands of Americans every year?
lynchburglady (Oregon)
@Mark What, exactly, do you find that the Federal Government has done that could possibly be considered "satisfying?"
Aaron Wildschuetz (Little Rock, AR)
The Fed cutting interest rates to 0-0.25 means we are in a full blown recession. Trump says everything otherwise...so why on Earth does this make him very happy? Because HIS BUSINESS IS BENEFITTING!!!
gene (fl)
The Fed dumping another 700 billion into Wall Street Bankers laps. With the 1.5 trillion gift they got three days ago runs the Wall Street Welfare check up to 2.2 Trillion in two days. Do you realize that is 7150 dollars for every man ,woman and child in the USA? No Socialist Healthcare like Medicare for all. The Banksters are extracting all the tax money with Corporate Socialism. The world's most powerful investment banks are like great vampire squids wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
Bertrand (Paris)
Populists: the smoke screen is evaporating.. When you see the actual crisis management skills of Trump, joh'son, amlo, bolsonaro,... I hope people will get vaccinated from electing those foolish madmen. Their lies, their distrust of sciences and facts are literrally killing or will kill actual people. If there is ONE good thing to hope from this disaster is that people will finally wake up and fire those criminals
Minikin (NYC)
Why the delay??? We know that shutting everything down is inevitable. Why not start sooner than later????? We stand to lose so much by this delay. Especially LIVES! Please, let’s lockdown now!
Don (New York)
How does this stop the virus from spreading?
David Polewka (Chapel Hill, NC)
The world ain't gettin' bigger along with our numbers. We're stealin' habitat from wildlife, like the colonists stole from the indigenous!
P Wilkinson (Guadalajara, MX)
This adminstration has been deadly . Trump has killed everything he laid his hands on.
Kristin (Portland, OR)
I feel really sorry for those folks who were up there behind Trump when he was speaking. They were clearly having difficulty controlling their reactions to his absurd, pointless, narcissistic rambling.
J Anders (Oregon)
You show that virus, Donald. Cut its interest rate!
Does anyone remember when "Homeland Security" was established to coordinate all National Security and emergency issues? Under this feckless administration Trump has all but demolished it in favor of HIS brainless, useless and un-coordinated excuse for "management". There is no one at the helm - certainly NOT TRUMP! Remember that when you get sick, when our economy fails and especially when you vote in November. This country cannot take any more lies, incompetence and criminal administration under The Dotard. Boy, did Kim Jung Un get it right!
Greg (San Diego)
@RealTRUTH is there even a DHS secretary?
Robert James (Cambridge, MA)
At least Jerome Powell knows who his boss is ...
fact or friction (maryland)
The further interest rate cut won't make one iota of difference. No one's going to want to be borrowing money, regardless. This is taking the "pushing on a string" metaphor to the extreme. Just another proof point that Trump is easily the most ignorant president ever regarding economic policy (along with everything else). And, it's pathetic how Trump, yet still enabled by his lapdog Republicans in Congress, has now politicized the Fed, along with every other federal level institution. There's nothing like undermining our democracy while simultaneously chaotically taking our country off a cliff.
RSB (New Hampshire)
@fact or friction Mostly fiction. We are a republic and theirs nothing federal about the privately owned "Federal Reserve Bank". Nor is the currency that it issues and charges it interest upon, backed up by any bullion reserve. Most of our income taxes go directly toward repayment of this interest alone. Think about that the next time you are wondering why our infrastructure is in such disrepair. Check into Executive Order 11110. Still in effect to this day, yet for "some reason" ignored by every single president after it's implementation.
RSB (New Hampshire)
@fact or friction there's
Barbara Snider (California)
Went to the grocery store yesterday and today for just a few things. I am stocked, just had a yearning for certain foods. Anyway, lines far too long to wait, will try again early tomorrow - the walk is good for me. People on neighborhood list serve keep saying we don't have to worry, only a few cases in Orange County. I suspect these are MAGA-Fox news watchers. The rest of us are limiting exposure and are sad we may not get to canvass to get out the vote against Trump. We must be cautious, limit exposure and keep CV illnesses to a low rate so there will be no reason to cancel voting, especially Nov Presidential election. That is a very important election and a worthy goal.
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
By making policy on tv instead of doing the hard work of coordinating with Europe's governments, Trump has created a chaos at airports that is resulting in mass gatherings instead of the social distancing that is absolutely urgent.
Melissa (USA)
I attend Mount San Antonio College in Walnut (LA County), California. It's a commuter school with more than 60,000 students. Its plan is to stay open and shut down after there 5 confirmed cases among staff and students -- which we all know is inevitable and will actually amount to many more than 5 cases, spread across the wide geographic region from which students come, and likely to multiply exponentially into many more. Administrators do not seem to realize that they are depending on the closures of virtually every other school in the area as well as efforts by other organizations and individuals to prevent the spread of the virus, much as an immunocompromised person depends on everybody else getting immunized, only with no excuse for not taking meaningful preventive action now.
apparatchick (Kennesaw GA)
I fail to see how the Fed helps us fight the virus. I have heard Pence promise millions of tests "by the end of this week" for 4 weeks in a row. I hear a lot of happy talk and self-congratulation, but very little solid guidance to the people. I don't care a wit what the Fed does and neither should anyone else.
John Coleman (Alaska)
With interest rates “near” zero, we don’t need all that testing; it’s simple biology...
Morgan (USA)
Trump doesn't care about any of the real-life concerns of everyday people. He's desperate to get the numbers to where the economy is considered "good". He knows most people that vote for him only care about that.
Hope S. (Los Angeles)
My sense is the markets are not going to be reassured by any of this because what we are all fearing at this point is a lethal pandemic that is evidencing exponential growth AND a federal government that thus far has not been able to respond appropriately or competently.
Ken Canty (Dudley, Ma.)
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration had been in the process of relaxing oversight of the nursing home industry including, but not limited to, infection prevention regulations. Another case of dollars over lives.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood, NM)
@Ken Canty ...The budget Trump proposed for 2020 included a 12% cut to NIH funding.
Concerned in NYC (NYC)
Here in New York City, Mayor DeBlasio must immediately shut down all non-essential businesses, including bars, cafes and restaurants (which are full in many neighborhoods). I realize he is concerned over the economic impact that will have on the business owners, employees and the city's economy. But the big picture is more urgent. Follow Italy's lead, please.
Andy G. (Atl., Ga.)
@Concerned in NYC Waiting to implement a shutdown only worsens the problem. We need real leaders. We don't have many.
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
Did it work in Italy? My news reports say no.
Louis (Denver, CO)
Unless the plan is to go all the way to zero or negative interest rates, both of which have not had a great deal of success when they have been attempted, the response is going to have to come from somewhere (or something) else.
S (T)
Here’s another idea... Instead of just bailing out banks, the government should pardon people’s income and property taxes for those who reported income under a certain tax bracket last year. This will allow help everyone to go on, stabilize the economy, and restore investor confidence during this crisis. Is that too much to ask??
John Harper (Carlsbad, CA)
@S If you're going to do that, you will basically give more to the rich. It's the middle and lower classes that spend a higher proportion of their income. Direct payments would be a better use of the money. We already see what $1 trillion in tax cuts for the rich did for us. Nothing.
Susan (Chicago)
@John Harper Did you not see "under a certain tax bracket"?
Thomson Prentice (France)
Lest I should be misunderstood by anyone, I wish to speak plainly: As a British citizen (now living in France) I have always been fond of the USA. Even more so in the last 5 years , when my elder son met, fell in love with and married a lovely French-American. and migrated with her to her Californian home for the birth of their child. I thank so many people for the universal warmth in which they have received my son. But here's the rub. Speaking plainly, I feel you are badly served. The current administration's handling of Covid-19 is shameful, bordering on criminal. By any objective analysis, the USA is way, way behind so many other countries in its planning, preparation, policy development and application. The consequences, I honestly believe, will be catastrophic in numbers of people sick and dying, and the profound social and economic consequences that lie beyond.I fervently hope I am wrong. But there is so much evidence of government dysfuntion athat I do fear the worst, and the worst is almost beyond imagination. I hope I have persuaded you that my comments are sincere. But your lives, as mine in France, and in many other European countries, are going to be drastically altered for the foreseeable future. It will be hard for everybody, and fatal for many. Do your best, for yourself, your family, and your country.
kenneth (nyc)
@Thomson Prentice If I understand your comment correctly, the best advice you can give is, "Hang in there, fellas!"
Orla Schantz (Denmark)
It's the stale methods of yesterday. No slashing rates reduces the rate of the spreading of the virus. You can't combat biology by the actions of the Fed
Feroza Jussawalla (Albuquerque)
Can someone try to get credit card companies to reduce rates at this time? And also to not charge late fees and fines etc.
kenneth (nyc)
@Feroza Jussawalla There you go !! Somebody in NM finally figured out how to eliminate the coronavirus.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
Condolences to the family of the 82 year old lady who died of COVID19. Apparently the poor lady had Emphysema. Whether it was caused by smoking or not does not change the statement of the Mike Pence who is "coordinating" the COVID19 response. Vice President Mike Pence, the man now leading the nation's response to public health threat from the coronavirus outbreak, once wrote "smoking doesn't kill."
kenneth (nyc)
@Bob Guthrie Yes, indeed, smoking is bad. Very very bad. And now back to THIS story about coronavirus.
Wise12 (USA)
I said weeks ago that her depression is coming maybe some might actually believe that now.
Uly (New Jersey)
COVID-19 is apolitical and geographical blind. West Virginia is extremely an anomaly as well Russia and certain nations in Africa.
Timmy (Chicago)
@Uly No continent will escape this pandemic. Facts are that Russia is reporting only a fraction of their cases, "Putin's misinformation machine." The continent of Africa already has reported cases and will get worse and there will be also massive under reporting in rural areas. West Virginia has the lowest per-capita household income, has the highest rate of drug deaths in the US, the highest rate of obesity, and the highest rate of smoking. When COVID-19 takes hold of West Virginia, the virus will be ruthless. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
I am done watching politicians managing this crisis. All my taxes go to military. Healthcare is so poor here. So I want to see the military to take over and manage this crisis. We have the biggest military in the world and we are at war with the virus. This is the biggest fight US will fight in modern history. The fight against Coronavirus.
Peter (La Paz, BCS)
Could all of this be an overreaction? Pan - ancient Greek mythological God of shepherds, flocks and pastures. When awakened from his noontime nap he would shout suddenly causing the flocks to scatter. The word panic ultimately derives from the word pan - meaning "all". Panic is the sudden and total fear of being in the presence of a God. At least the human mind’s reaction thereof. And if one is identified with the mind then it is experienced as “I”. Thus a pandemic can naturally be experienced as a “panic-demic” - sudden and total fear pertaining to a distinct population of people. Unless the information is false, the coronavirus seems to be ending in China. Here is the link: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/ The data for South Korea is showing the same arc. There are no articles in the news about this. There have been 6,500 deaths from coronavirus so far this year. There have been 12 million total deaths so far this year. That's .05% of total deaths that is attributed to coronavirus. There are 100 times as many deaths from influenza worldwide per year as deaths from coronavirus so far since the outbreak. Whatever China is doing that limits the spread of the virus is what should be reported in the news. Instead humans feed upon fear. We love our fears. They make us feel important. The last thing any person wants to learn is that their fears are unfounded; that their identity is an illusion. That the created purports to be the creator.
kenneth (nyc)
@Peter An overreaction? Sure, could be. Should we just sit around for a year or two and wait to find out?
kenneth (nyc)
@Peter An overreaction? Yes, it could be. We'll know in another 75 years or so. Thanks for the update.
Peter (La Paz, BCS)
@kenneth If the information provided from the link above is correct, then the coronavirus is clearly ending in China. And the same thing is happening in South Korea. The suggestion is that whatever measures (if any) that are taking place in China and South Korea should be studied and possibly implemented in other countries. China and S.K. apparently are having some success. This is newsworthy. Mass hysteria is not helping the situation. And yet, mass hysteria sells. I question as to why the NYTimes does not report on the data being reported in China and S.K. If it is not accurate, then that is also newsworthy. The numbers point to the coronavirus practically being over in less than 3 months. If I am incorrectly reading the data, then please someone inform me.
db2 (Phila)
He speaks and (we) jump. It doesn’t bode well.
kenneth (nyc)
@db2 Did you think he was going to jump? Have you seen pictures of him ? Can you imagine him jumping?
just Robert (North Carolina)
In the long line at the super market yesterday, a woman sneezed violently into her uncovered hands then grabbed the handles of her shopping cart, not a hand sanitizer or even a tissue insight. There was a mad scramble to get to another line, but where do you go in the face of thoughtlessness. God bless you takes on a whole new meaning, but a lack of consideration may be the literal death of us.
Jack (Colorado)
I am buying a house, currently under contract. My bank's interest rate was 3.125 when I got my pre-approval letter, and 3.5 when I started filling out the full loan application. Rates went up because everyone and their mother was refinancing and overwhelming banks (I think). What do I do now? Is there going to be a further jump in refinances that keeps rates higher? Do I stall until things calm down, or even abandon the process and give up my earnest money? Am I a fool to keep going with all of this uncertainty?
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
Supply and demand govern the refinance rates. Rates dropped because demand dropped, large numbers of mortgage holders leaped into market to refinance, demand jumps and price/interest rate rises. Money per se is no different from a gallon of milk in pricing. If demand stays high, so will the rate. Your action is a bet on loan demand.
nolongeradoc (London, UK)
It's truly astonishing. I have read through literally hundreds of NYT comments and at least 90% of them are about American money not American lives! For better or worse, these conversations are just not happening in Europe.
Louis (Denver, CO)
@nolongeradoc, There is a connection between concern about lives and concern about money. A lot of people in the United States are living paycheck and cannot afford to be without work for 2+ weeks without pay--without some kind assistance some of these people could literally end up homeless.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@nolongeradoc you have safety nets in Europe that aren't frayed with gaping holes in them...here not so much.
kenneth (nyc)
@nolongeradoc You're right. At this point, most of them don't care much about American money.
wise brain (Martinez)
If you value your life, please DO NOT re-elect Trump.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
The man who died appears to have other serious medical issues including heart problems. Nevertheless, it also appears this cruise ship was no more prepared to deal with COVID 19 than most other organizations and nations. Let's consider the folks that become ill and / or die from COVID 19 unwitting and impressed pioneers in the worldwide struggle beween humans and COVID 19. Our sympathy to their families and our wishes that treatments and immunizations may be adopted to stem the tide of infection and death.
kenneth (nyc)
@A E Gelsthorpe Okay, you go ahead and consider them pioneers. Most of us will just think of them as dead.
Linda (Chicago)
I don't trust Mnuchin to do what's right for the country. He's only looking out for the market and his wealthy friends.
Dave Scheff (San Francisco)
Nowhere else to go - so if this doesn’t work, what’s the brilliant plan?
The New York Times needs to step up to the plate and say bars and restaurants need to be closed to stop transmission and not report on them like it is normal they are open. Its time to be responsible.
Maryrose (New York)
ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS THE MONEY. there are NO tests. People are being turned away. This is inhumane!!!
Taoshum (Taos, NM)
Maybe the US political "leaders" caught a different virus... the one that causes immediate foot and mouth disease! There's a cure for it though, resign.
Dave Dumbroski (Canada)
We haven't begun to experience the economic ripple effect of COVID 19. You are now at zero interest rate. In two - three weeks when no one is going out of their homes unless for emergency reasons, and people are fighting over who gets in line for a respirator, the economy will essentially be frozen with the biggest tool (interest rate reduction) entirely used up. The wealthy will use the cheap money to buy back stock but that isn't going to help supply chains if no one is buying. Very short term gain for Trump but what will he do in a few weeks?
kenneth (nyc)
@Dave Dumbroski What will he do? That's easy. He has more than 200 Democrats in Congress to blame it on.
Dearson (NC)
It is appalling that the daily new conference held by the Pence Pandemic Task Force is no more than a cruel hoax being played on the public. They offer no more than a slight update from the previous day which essentially included no real information. Perhaps they have actually convinced themselves that the public is not aware of the chaos throughout the nation as citizens seek to receive tests for the virus, attempt to get through airports, storm supermarkets, and worry about jobs, and worry about their families. The Trump administration is not focused on public health, but spinning the tale that it is managing the crisis.
T (Ad astra)
At times, experts across the board have surfaced to warn us of likely scenarios that most threatened our national security and economic stability. Pandemics was on that list. The other very serious concern that we have been ignoring my entire young life is climate change. We are failing the dress rehearsal on issues of global concern.
Raj (Princeton)
They just applied the (imperfect)solution from last crisis even though the root cause of the problems can’t be more different. This is not a liquidity issue. This is a supply side issue. One thing is clear Fed basically announcing a sure and severe recession. I don’t know how else to interpret this move.
Will (Zurich)
They know what is coming to the markets. This is the best they can do.
kenneth (nyc)
@Will Good excuse. Still a failure.
Stef (Everett, WA)
They are trying to fix a crisis of mismanagement with economic levers. What levers will they have left when the inevitable economic crisis hits after a few weeks of school, restaurant and store closures and a collapse of tourism and travel?
Pierre Darnoc (New York)
In a free-speech country but with very little centralized government and an almost nonexistent welfare system, forcing people to hunker down can only last for a week or two. When the workers of the gig economy, part-time employees, single mothers, and small mainstream businesses have to pay the bills, we will have to make a choice: spiraling into a full-blown depression or accepting to be exposed to this with all its consequences.
PAUL FEINER (greenburgh)
why aren't the fed's addressing supermarkets? People are standing next to each other- possibly getting infected or infecting others. A sneeze at a supermarket is = to sneeze at a show. 1) Require gloves to be worn 2) Everyone going into the supermarkets should wear a mask so they won't prevent others from getting sick. 3) Require customers to take temperature before they go into supermarkets with hand held non invasive scanners. . IF they are sick they should not be allowed in. Supermarkets should be required to scan all employees upon arriving for work with hand-held non-invasive temperature scanners. 4) In China people must make an appointment to get to the supermarket. Controls over crowding conditions. In China, according to some residents who contacted me, people were assigned shopping days and have people wait in line outside with good separation while in line and entering in an orderly fashion. Limit numbers inside at any given time. Require s hopping on only certain days based on your date of birth on your drivers license. China did this and they saved thousands of lives". 5) Require people to stay at least six feet away from each other when checking out. and to wipe self check out locations 6) issue an Advisory saying that individuals over 60, and individuals with underlying health issues, should avoid public places and only go out for food supplies and medicines. France did this yesterday. PAUL FEINER Greenburgh Town Supervisor
William (West Michigan)
@PAUL FEINER Won't do much good when most of the employees of grocery stores don't have sick leave days; hence, the come in sick to get a paycheck (when they should be home waiting for the results of their tests).
Alley (NYC)
@PAUL FEINER You're a town supervisor. Stop posting and start enacting!
kenneth (nyc)
@PAUL FEINER Right. The Fed should definitely be requiring gloves and masks....and supermarket appointments. The economy can wait.
Peanut (07008)
Dropping interest rates means nothing to low income people. Credit card interest will go down a little and that will encourage more debt. Give all American household $1k per mouth for the next 12 months. In addition, allow up to $10k of interest free withdrawals from 401k and that will help people.
Edith C (IL)
@Peanut If you mean tax free withdrawals, I am with you.
kmgh (Newburyport, MA)
Cutting the interest rate only helps people who have a lot of debt, like Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, for examples. You can be sure that interest on student loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc., will remain at their userous, high rates. Powell and the Federal Reserve merely bowed to Trump. Sick leave, unemployment, health care, and testing should be where our tax dollars go right now--not to the well healed.
This is a move to buy some time for banks and Wall Street to clean up their balance sheets before the real economic crisis hits. Nothing more. They all know what’s coming when quarterly earnings get released in a few weeks; do you?
Carsafrica (California)
I think the interest rate is an empty gesture and will not help those being laid off from the hospitality, travel and energy industries Companies in these sectors are going to need bridging loans so they can get through the crisis , loans which have to be repaid. Congress needs to work on this together with the Banks. Loans scheduled for repayment in the next few months should be deferred as opportunities for refinancing can be limited for at risk Corporations. The American taxpayer now and in the future should not give these companies free lunches we should reserve them literally for our children and those in need. Our deficit is going to go through the roof and as Social Security funds one of the main sources of funding our debt dries up we will find it increasingly difficult to fund it Therefore When normality returns there should be a flat tax of at least 21 percent imposed on all Corporations , this will help. My concern is as the deficit grows , as our population continues to age then Republicans will attack benefits we have earned. Such Fiscal common sense and fairness is only possible with Democrats in power
how bad can it be (ne)
Glad the Don is happy. we need a stoke of luck.
Jeff (California)
Just how is slashing interest rates going to slow the spread of Coronavirus? How is it going to help those people who are out of world because of Coronavirus? How it it going to make more kits available and more healthcare professional available? How is it going to put money in the pockets of those who are out of work because of Coronavirus? All I can see is it nothing more than a typical Republican cynical transfer of wealth from all Americans to the privileged few.
dog lover (boston)
This is a mess - a complete and absolute mess.
kenneth (nyc)
@dog lover Yes, we were just beginning to notice that too. Thanks for sharing.
Sasha (CA)
The Federal Government should be shutting down Bars and Restaurants except for delivery service nationwide. The Feds should also be using WWII tactics to ramp up the supply of hazmat type suits, N95 masks, goggles, CAPR hoods for healthcare workers now.. This isn't going to go well at all unless they get it together. Also, why is Trump giving a press conference with everyone packed in like sardines?? That is a recipe for a community spread disaster in the Press Room.
Iris Flag (Urban Midwest)
@Sasha That happened today in Ohio. There doesn't seem to be anything in place for making sure that restaurant employees have sufficient income while this is going on.
kenneth (nyc)
@Sasha Perhaps. But I don't know of many Bars and Restaurants that deliver nationwide.
Zejee (Bronx)
But our youth will still be yoked to high interest debt
Mountain Rose (Michigan)
We're staring at a recession. The president needs to set aside his oversized ego and remove the 25 percent tariffs on the $250 billion of Chinese imports.
proffexpert (Los Angeles)
What is the thinking here: Will the Fed rate cuts will kill the Coronavirus?
The Other Alan (Plainfield, NJ)
No they won't, but they do show the Fed has little to no ammunition left, having already caved to Trump by lowering rates over the last year. As I'm writing this at 6:35PM stock index futures are down limit. Call it no faith in the Trump administration and the Fed. As for retirees and those on fixed incomes, good luck finding a positive return.
James (Savannah)
I think we can trust Mnuchin and Trump to not take advantage of the economic situation (zero interest, repeal Dodd-Frank) for their own financial gain.
kenneth (nyc)
@James We can trust our leaders not to be overly crooked this time? I'm so relieved.
wise brain (Martinez)
Apparently, there is no hope for Trump or his devotees to value FACTS. It's up to each is us to isolate them. Please boycott anyone that believes the virus is a hoax, your life may depend on it.
jacques (Vancouver)
The worst thing Congress could do would be to hand this corrupt and incompetent administration more economic power. Based on every precedent that could only make things worse.
Mixilplix (Alabama)
Until we have a competent and compassionate Commander In Chief, this all means nothing. Trump is already gloating again, and now he's seen coughing.
Opinioned! (NYC)
“In a few days it’s gonna go down to zero, believe me.” This is the hoax.
The Other Alan (Plainfield, NJ)
He was probably referring to the stock market.
citybumpkin (Earth)
The ignorance starts at the top, but sadly does not end there.
Mary (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
The federal government seems more concerned about markets, not health. Lot of action on the economy, but we need to flatten the curve and shut everything down.
Bryan (Washington)
Trump personally benefits. Wealthy people holding debt benefit. Corporations holding debt benefit. The markets will go up, until they crash down with the announcements of more cases and more deaths and more business layoffs. But the markets will benefit for a day or two, maybe three days. The downsize is that the Fed has essentially used most of its weapons should the economy be slow to rise, or even stagnate further following the Coronavirus outbreak. All-in-all, this move makes more nervous now about our economy and the Fed's ability to support it over the long haul than when the day started.
AG (London)
Why does the Fed think that a 50bps cut to the Fed Funds rate would have stave off a health crisis? Unlike 2008, this isn’t a problem of bank liquidity or available of credit. It is a pandemic-induced supply shocks with a severe demand shock in its wake. The only true remedy is a broad fiscal package to address the wave of bankruptcies, redundancies and misery that will inevitably follow. On the other hand, if the Fed wanted to calm markets, then a global 2 week bank holiday would have been a much more effective tool for taking the heat out of the moment.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@AG you couldn't be more wrong. the economic consequences are going to be far more significant than the health consequences.
kenneth (nyc)
@Mary Elizabeth Lease Actually, from where I sit, they're both going to be more significant than each other. And then some.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Strange. The purpose of lowering interest rates is to encourage borrowing for investments to increase production and sales. It also makes no sense to invest in the real economy except for government during this kind of national crisis. The focusing of resources on needs like medical care and public health services have no commercial potential except by efforts to spend tax payers revenues on the private sector free of any market constraints. Realistically, the only people who want this are those who are trading paper for the sake of gaining by buying and selling securities.
Jessica Mayorga (San Jose)
I don’t think this is going to matter that much in the short run. The problem is street level.
M. Spikes (Chicago, IL)
Just a point of clarification that may be changed by the time this goes up, but restaurants in Illinois are closed for in-house dining. Delivery, drive-through and curbside pick-up are allowed to proceed.
Underdog (Heaven)
What will an interest rate cut achieve other than creating even more panic? How about buttressing businesses that are directly being effected, thus minimizing the impulse to start mass layoffs and/or going out of business because they are operating at such tight margins? If anything, make it a direct condition, thus preventing that cascade of layoffs and business closures that will happen if there is no assistance. How about helping families where there are school closures? How about insuring that supply chains remain open, while ensuring that there is no profiteering? These businesses that will benefit from the rate cuts have already been enjoying record profits since the end of the last recession and yet we can already see where the Trump Administration will be directing all their efforts towards, while, once again, laying waste to those who are the most vulnerable. When will this kind of morally bankrupt monetary strategy ever end?
angel98 (nyc)
@Underdog Would love to know the answer too. Also wondering if Trump and cabal are using this situation to sneak sweeping banking deregulation through the backdoor (see Mnuchin and Dodd-Frank). Opportunists to the last.
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
Everything you want to do costs real money. Lowering an interest rate does not cost the government anything. The second is not taking a dime from potential funds to the first.
Jon Ham (San Diego)
Any small business cash distributions in there to ease the pain on small business owners during a of a near complete economic shutdown?
Robert James (Cambridge, MA)
@Jon Ham The Fed doesn't have the authority to do that. They can only lower interest rates and buy securities.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Jon Ham The SBA considers 97% of all U.S. businesses "small". Keep this in mind when the president is talking about "helping out small business". Trump, Inc. is probably in that 97%.
J Anders (Oregon)
@Jon Ham SBA considers 98% of American businesses "small". This probably includes Trump Inc.
David Parsons (San Francisco)
Quantitative easing was a measure used to help the banks meet the higher Basel III liquidity and solvency ratios. Interest on excess reserves (IOER) was paid to the banks, providing risk-free income. Banks did not lend these reserves out, as they were now necessary to meet the higher liquidity ratios of Basel III. Purchasing mortgage-backed debt stabilized the prices of Agency mortgages held on bank balance sheets and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that had been taken into conservatorship. Quantitative easing made sense in 2008 and 2009. It has nothing to to with todays Crisis. The only reason it may have been adopted is to weaken the dollar and issue even larger deficit spending without raising rates. Large industries and corporations must not be bailed out with low-interest government loans they could not get in the private market. They should be issued convertible debt to ensure their solvency. The convertible debt will be secured by the companies assets, and convertible into equity when they get through Trump's Crisis. This will avoid socializing losses and privatizing profits. Small businesses and citizens should be the primary consideration of the government during Trump's Crisis. The government should provide low interest, long-term government loans to any small business or the public who need them to ensure sufficient liquidity. Such loans will not increase Trump's deficits even larger, which could themselves become destabilizing.
kenneth (nyc)
@David Parsons "....will not increase Trump's deficits even larger," ???
Trump saying "this makes me very happy" makes me think we should all be even more worried. This crisis is one related rooted in uncertainty over a public health emergency, and it will dissipate once testing is widespread and the peak of the curve has passed -- which it will, and it will do so sooner if appropriate measures are taken. I don't understand how lending rates matter when a number of people are about to be financially paralyzed from being laid off or furloughed. I am also amazed that people in charge just can't wrap their heads around the concept that a swift, drastic measure (lockdown) for a short period of time has greater potential to blunt the impact of this, even if there is short-term pain. Every day they wait to take aggressive measures is creating potential for prolonged suffering. Absurdity.
kenneth (nyc)
@BN "Trump saying "this makes me very happy"...... He was probably referring to his new suit for the St Patrick's Day parade.
Lou Panico (Linden NJ)
With Fed rates being cut to zero, will credit card companies lower their usury rates? I’m willing to bet my social security check that they will not.
Zara1234 (West Orange, NJ)
Congratulations Chairman Powell, Secretary Mnuchin and President Trump. What a golden opportunity COVID-19 has provided to you and your band of merry Reverse Robin Hoods to spring into action. Fed rate cuts to zero, massive QE program, lowered reserve requirements for our banks, and other measures to keep our stock market bubble afloat and to make our riches even richer. The 1% are laughing all the way to the bank. The others, particularly those who will be directly impacted by this crisis -who cares?
JohnE (Portland, OR)
I wonder how many people will lose their lives... just from the debacle at the 11 airports taking in international travelers. This was Trump's decision.. and he is responsible for the health outcomes of people transiting these airports.
kenneth (nyc)
@JohnE No, no, John. He makes only those decisions that turn out well. As he himself has said, he is "like a very smart person."
DavidE (Bolzano, IT)
The only way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is for people to stay away from each other for several weeks. What we learned in Italy is that just asking everyone to “hunker down” (or the Italian equivalent) doesn’t work. People didn’t understand what that meant, and people didn’t do it. And because people didn’t understand and didn’t do it, everybody got confused, terribly anxious and afraid. And the virus kept spreading. But once the government acted, told everyone to stay home, closed non-essential stores, bars, cafes, restaurants, and basically made it illegal to be out except for grocery shopping, medical care, caring for others, or work that couldn’t be done online from home, people understood, and that’s what we’ve been doing for a week and will do for at least another two weeks. The confusion is gone. The fear and anxiety is gone. We know what we’re doing and why. There’s a sense of solidarity and pride. This is the path. We can do this. We’re doing this. Things will get better. The USA has the same path before it. If the Trump Administration can’t lead by itself, call, write, message your reps and senators. Tell them to pass a bill demanding the quarantine now. It’s the only way, and every day lost means the virus spreads.
kenneth (nyc)
@DavidE Yes. Imagine all these selfish people who rely on wages to survive.....never thinking of the rest of us.
Hope (Colorado)
Once again, the WH press conference is unhelpful and completely REMEDIAL. It's insulting to be spoken to, by DT and Pence and Birx, as though we were either being disciplined for wanting too much or as if we were too dense to understand. We DO get it: DT, who disbanded the pandemic task force, put America at risk and is weeks behind.
A E Gelsthorpe (Massachusetts)
@Hope While my observation seems a feeble response to what appears to be the calculated neglect of the medical care and health of the American and all the world's people, I hope voters will remember the administration's falsehoods, distractions, and conceits when they vote for POTUS in November 2020. Also we must not punish those responsible medical personnel who were held captive by their bosses in the Trumpster's web of lies, distractions, and deceits. They are among the knowlegable few who have both the means and the ability to help us end this pandemic.
Hope (Colorado)
@A E Gelsthorpe You're so right-- I totally agree with you! The scientists have been ready to do their jobs throughout; the Admin seems to quash voices of reason and wise caution. It is good, as you just did, to distinguish between the diligent scientists who serve the public good, and DT's sycophants and denialists! No doubt...
WeThePeople (Where Truth Still Counts)
And now that state governors having stepped up and taken the lead for schools, universities, etc. in their jurisdictions, Trump had to come up with something to show leadership on his part, so he automatically turns to things financial. Bullfeathers - this is a public health issue: SHOW ME THE TESTING CAPABILITY!
HANK (Newark, DE)
"...The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero and said it would buy up huge amounts of government debt to buttress the U.S. economy against coronavirus..." Isn't the latter what Republicans once called "Printing Money" during the Obama Administration? Nah, threatening to fire/demote the Fed Chair had nothing to do with it. A new benchmark in separation of powers, departments and government branches.
J Anders (Oregon)
South Korea has tested over 250,000 people (1 out of about 200 of their population). They have drive-thru test centers and home health case workers who monitor every single person who is asked to self-isolate. They have 2/3rds of our GDP per person. And I don't see them cutting interest rates. That just reduces the amount of money we have available to fight this thins.
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
How does it reduce the money to pay for other activities? Reducing the interest rate does not cost the government a dime. What do you expect testing to do? It gives you no actionable info. Until you get a fever over 101.5, regardless of test results or lack of results, nothing changes in your proper action. No special line or treatment exists for positive or negative test results.
Jennifer R. (Minnesota)
@Michael Blazin You are incorrect when you say that testing gives no actionable information. A person testing positive needs to be quarantined to protect others, whether they are showing symptoms or not. The purpose of testing is not to provide treatment to people who have the virus but aren’t showing symptoms yet, but to prevent them from spreading it to others.
M Andrew (Florida)
Total madness. The media is blowing this thing out of control and causing mayhem. How about cutting my mortgage interest rate to zero.
Miles (New York)
Did you read about how things have progressed in Italy? The US media did not cause that
Fairisle (NJ)
@M Andrew How do you get that the media is blowing this out of proportion? They are just reporting on what the Fed is doing. Are you saying they should not report? That makes no sense!
angel98 (nyc)
@M Andrew Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Forgive all debt.
Chris (Berlin)
The US is already a month behind in preventative action. Turning airports into mass contagion centers to efficiently spread the disease must be the plan to catch up? After bad mouthing the Chinese, the establishment politicians and the Trump admin will adopt some of their controls of people movement…too late. The lackadaisical approach of “we don’t want to spook the ‘market’ “ will kill thousands to protect the oligarch’s riches. This particular bioweapon seems to work especially well against the bourgeois economic class, so there is some hope they will try to do something about it. Countries are rolling out the military and authorizing the police to forcibly contain suspected infected, and the elderly (over 70) are on a forced isolation in some countries. This is the equivalent of Martial Law and what is rapidly approaching here in the US as this DT chaos spreads. Neighborhoods, cities and now whole states are under lockdown. I admire the states (and cities) taking charge and stepping up where DT and our govt failed. This crisis is not going to end well for us American citizens. The National Guard has been rolled out in some cities and states, next will be the military since DT has declared a National Emergency, so we are one-step away from Marital Law. Travelling has been curtailed, panic buying is on the move, saving Big Oil and Wall St is his plan as well as that of Pelosi, the Dem Party, and the entire R-Party: peons, you’re on your own. Welcome to TrumpWorld.
Tom (St. Paul, MN)
Trump and the Fed have used up every starting pitcher and the entire bullpen in the first inning. This war has only just begun and they’re already out of ammo.
RU JONES (Eugene)
@Tom Perfect and pithy analysis. Until we do the hard stuff— 3 week universal quarantine, widespread testing, prepositioning of military isolation hospital tents, rapid resupply of medical equipment, etc, this will get worse fast. We will have a forfeit in the second inning.
AlNewman (Connecticut)
It’s almost a virus in itself that Washington elites refuse to even consider fiscal policy. We need a massive infusion of federal spending to prevent an economic meltdown and yet the only policy levers considered are oriented toward supply-side. That is unfortunately a triumph of conservative propaganda combined with an ignorance of macroeconomics. Let’s take out a loan at near zero interest and get money into people’s hands. It’ll pay for itself over the long run. We took this approach throughout the 20th century, before the anti-government crazies started eating our brains, and it worked.
mancuroc (rochester)
Relax, folks! You may be out of a job but you can now borrow to the hilt to pay for scarce things that won't get plentiful until supply chains recover months from now. Near-zero interest rates compensate will certainly compensate you for lost earnings. Meanwhile as a senior I love it that CD rates will crash, with the intention of forcing people into an unstable stock market. The more the bubble is pumped up, the bigger the explosion when it bursts. 17:40 EDT, 3/15
Jeff (California)
@mancuroc; The near zero interest rates are for the big, big money people not for use taxpayers. When have we ever seen the people holding the money passing any of it down to we "Little People."I will be shocked if our interest rates go down even a tenth of a percent.
Eero (Somewhere in America)
You are confusing borrowing rates, which you correctly point out will decline only a few basis points, with money market and bond rates, which have cratered, thus punishing savers.
Ken Nyt (Chicago)
Trump relentlessly harasses the weak Jerry Powell to take economic actions that ultimately will accomplish nothing except to weaken the economy as it plunge into recession. So Powell relents just to get a few hours of peace. Next up, Trump will blame Powell when the plan continues to plunge., and Powell will likely resign.
Greg Jones (Philadelphia)
what a great article the NYT had about Powell possibly being demoted. Trump said to him do this or you will be demoted. The sad thing is that this doesn't help the small business owner. Rooms are being cancelled, flights, restaurant bookings and down the line. 2nd quarter earnings come out in July and it will be one whole quarter of corona affected earnings. You think the earnings next month are going to be bad? Just wait.
Observer (midwest)
Here in the O.C. the number of covid-d cases has now reached the .000005% share of our population. There are no deaths, so far. Starting Monday. we will have a half-million kids, a great many of whom will either be on their own or looked-after by working class mothers who need a paycheck. This is nuts.
Felix Pepper (New Zealand)
@Observer But that is not the real number of cases at all. It's how many the minuscule number of tests available have identified. Here's the math: The day you have the first death there you'll know that its widespread, because from that person rippled out between 500 and a 1000 people spreading the virus. Of course, by then its too late.
Observer (midwest)
@Felix Pepper Exponential growth does not exist in the physical world -- only in mathematical tables. If it did, that bush that grew an inch in width in your garden over the last few days would quite quickly have a volume greater than Earth itself. Don't confuse mathematical musing with reality.
Don’t confuse natural plant growth with contagion.
CMac (Connecticut)
More than anything.... I WANT TO STOP HEARING ALL THE POLITICIANS/POLITICALLY INSPIRED PEOPLE TO STOP SELF-CONGRATULATING WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING. ENOUGH. Just tell me what I need to know instead of what you want me to believe.
Mary Elizabeth Lease (Eastern Oregon)
@CMac The truth about how you can catch coronavirus, who is most vulnerable and what you can do to avoid infection https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/can-a-face-mask-stop-coronavirus-covid-19-facts-checked
John C. (Florida)
Interest rates near zero... the Fed printing $700 billion to buy government debt... Entire sectors of the global economy grinding to a halt... runs on ATMs and banks as people rush to hoard cash... I have only a one word response. GOLD
See also