Coronavirus live updates: Mnuchin warns of high unemployment, celebrities tour social media

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 201,000
  • Global deaths: At least 8,007
  • US cases: At least 6,496
  • US deaths: At least 114

All data above is provided by Johns Hopkins University.

COVID-19 cases surpassed 200,000 worldwide as the new coronavirus continues to spread outside of China, the original epicenter of the outbreak.

The total number of cases now stands at 201,436 as of 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, according to data compiled by John Hopkins. —Will Feuer

French premium alcohol company Pernod Ricard, whose products include Absolut Vodka, is offering its services to fulfill worldwide demand for hand sanitizer. In the U.S., the company will convert manufacturing and plant facilities in Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas to make the gel. It is taking similar measures in Spain, Ireland and Sweden, and will roll out similar initiatives in the United Kingdom. In France, the premium liquor-maker is donating 70,000 liters of alcohol to Labratoire Cooper, a major supplier of hand sanitizer. —Lauren Hirsch

Stock futures pointed to big losses in pre-market trading as the markets remained highly volatile with the government response to the coronavirus fallout still unfolding. A violent reversal in Treasury yields in response to a potential $1 trillion stimulus package helped to unnerve investors.

Around 6:42 a.m. ET, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicated a more than 1,000-point loss at the open. —Fred Imbert, Yun Li

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators that the country’s unemployment rate could hit 20% if they failed to act on a proposed coronavirus rescue package and there was lasting economic damage, a person familiar with the closed-door meeting said.

Mnuchin met with senators to persuade them to pass a $1 trillion stimulus package that would send cash to Americans within two weeks, and backstop airlines and other companies. A Treasury official said Mnuchin was not providing a forecast but trying to illustrate the potential risks of inaction. —Reuters

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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