Coronavirus live updates: WHO calls Iran and Italy cases deeply concerning, Goldman cuts GDP forecast

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All times below are in Eastern time.

Total confirmed cases: More than 79,400
Total deaths: At least 2,621

Goldman Sachs lowered its U.S. growth outlook for the first quarter as the domestic economy takes a hit from the global outbreak. The bank slashed its U.S. GDP growth forecast to just 1.2% from 1.4%, seeing a more severe drag from the epidemic. That growth rate is drastically slower than the 2.1% increase in the fourth quarter and 2.3% for the full year 2019. “The risks are clearly skewed to the downside until the outbreak is contained,” Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief U.S. economist, said in a note on Monday. “An increasing amount of companies [are] suggesting potential production cuts should supply chain disruptions persist into Q2 or later.” —Li

Austria said it would stop suspected coronavirus cases from crossing its border, a day after it held up a train from Italy for four hours to wait for test results on two passengers. Austria has yet to have a confirmed case of coronavirus and is extremely wary because of Europe’s largest outbreak next door in northern Italy. More than half of freight crossing the Alps passes through Austria. – Reuters

The White House is planning to ask Congress to approve an emergency spending package to help the Trump administration battle the spread of the coronavirus, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC, adding that the proposed spending deal could be sent to Congress as soon as this week. The Washington Post first reported the White House’s preparations. —Breuninger

WHO officials stopped short of calling the coronavirus a pandemic but said now is the time to prepare for one. “Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said at a press conference. “This is not the time to focus on what word we use. That will not prevent a single infection today or save a single life today.” —Feuer

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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