Coronavirus live updates: New York cases surge, Trump asks FDA to test malaria drug

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 227,400
  • Global deaths: At least 9,300
  • US cases: At least 9,415
  • US deaths: At least 150

All data above is provided by Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump said that he would not oppose barring companies that receive federal assistance during the coronavirus pandemic from conducting stock buybacks.

“It takes many many people in this case to tango, but as far as I’m concerned conditions like that would be okay with me,” Trump said during a White House press conference. —Tucker Higgins

Tesla is taking extra precautions at its Fremont car assembly plant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to an e-mail the company’s North American head of human resources, Valerie Workman, sent to employees overnight. Among other measures, employees will have their temperatures taken before they enter the factory. 

The e-mail to employees from HR also said Tesla would rearrange operations as much as possible to enable “social distancing,” allowing people to keep 6 feet apart from one another. Masks would also be distributed to workers throughout the day, the e-mail promised. —Lora Kolodny

President Donald Trump said he directed the Food and Drug Administration to investigate whether an existing drug given to malaria patients can also be used to treat the novel coronavirus.

The announcement at the daily coronavirus briefing came hours after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the White House’s massive economic stimulus proposal would include $500 billion for direct payments to Americans. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Kevin Breuninger

President Donald Trump doubled-down on blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic, and again made a point of referring to the “Chinese virus.”

“It could have been stopped right where it came from, China,” Trump said at a White House press conference, arguing that U.S. officials would have been able to act faster to prevent coronavirus from spreading in the United States if they were fully informed about it.

The coronavirus outbreak originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but in recent months has spread worldwide. —Dan Mangan

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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