Coronavirus live updates: Human vaccine trials begin, Canada closes its borders

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 169,387, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 6,513, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 3,813, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 69, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 began Monday, U.S. health officials confirmed.

Finding “a safe and effective vaccine” to prevent infection from the new coronavirus “is an urgent public health priority,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement Monday.  “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”

The National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, has been fast-tracking work with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine using the current strain of the new coronavirus. The trial is taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington, where COVID-19 cases have surged and authorities have banned mass gatherings. The early-stage, or phase 1, trial will test the vaccine on 45 males and non-pregnant females between the ages of 18 and 55, according to trial details on NIH’s website. —Berkeley Lovelace

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney proposed sending every American adult $1,000 to ease the financial pain of the coronavirus pandemic that has tanked global markets and threatened to grind U.S. economic activity to a halt. 

The proposal from the 2012 Republican nominee for president came as the White House and Congress work to reach an agreement over the necessary stimulus measures to contain the unfolding economic crisis.

“While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” Romney said in a statement. —Tucker Higgins, Dan Mangan

Canada is closing its borders to non-citizens because of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

“We can still slow the spread of this virus,” Trudeau said. “It is time to take every precaution to keep people safe.”

Canada will make some exceptions to the closure of its borders, including for U.S. citizens. —Dan Mangan

Stocks continued their down-day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 9% in midday trading. The S&P 500 was down 8.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 8.2%. 

Monday’s losses put the Dow down 28% from its all-time high and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq more than 26% below their records last month. At one point, the Dow was down 30% from its record. —Sara Salinas, Fred Imbert

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-live-updates-us-retail-closures-could-explode-irans-deaths-surge.html

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