Coronavirus live updates: Unprecedented stop in economic activity, London goes into lockdown

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 254,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 10,000, according to Hopkins data.
  • US cases: At least 14,300, according to Hopkins.
  • US deaths: At least 210, according to Hopkins.

President Donald Trump said he will use the Defense Production Act in response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The Korean War-era statute can force certain American companies to produce materials that are in short supply in the face of the growing outbreak.

During Friday’s coronavirus task force briefing, Trump said that the administration on Thursday night “put it into gear,” adding that he has already spoken with multiple companies about it. 

“Most of the states, in no way did they do anything wrong, they were stocked up,” Trump said. “They were all equipped. Unfortunately they’ve never had a thing like this. So they need help from the federal government.” —Yelena Dzhanova

The company that owns the New York Stock Exchange and other equity marketplaces defended stock sales of millions of dollars of shares by its CEO and his U.S. senator wife after she received a private Congressional briefing about the coronavirus outbreak.

Intercontinental Exchange said in a statement that the transactions by its chairman, Jeffrey Sprecher, and his wife, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, were “in compliance” with company policies.

Sprecher and Loeffler, in a series of trades, sold stocks from their accounts in late January and into February, after Loeffler and other senators received a private briefing from Trump administration officials about coronavirus on Jan. 24. —Dan Mangan, Thomas Franck

A palpable chill had settled over Park Slope on an otherwise beautiful Monday evening.

The brownstone-lined streets of this South Brooklyn enclave, typically abuzz with commuters at peak rush hour, were near empty. Stores of all kinds — from restaurants, cafes and bars to gyms and bodegas — were closed until further notice.

For a city that never sleeps, the lethargy felt out of place.

But it has become the new normal in the age of the coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc on local New York businesses as customers have stayed home out of fear and lawmakers have shut entire sectors of the city’s economy to halt its spread. —Lorie Konish, Annie Nova, Greg Iacurci

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday urged “every CEO in America” to commit to a year of no stock buybacks as the coronavirus pandemic wrecks the U.S. economy. 

As Congress and the White House hash out an economic relief plan expected to easily top $1 trillion, Democrats have pushed for a proposal to specify that companies receiving aid must stop share repurchases. The suggestion by the Democratic presidential front-runner appears to go even further — to all public companies.

“As workers face the physical and economic consequences of the coronavirus, our corporate leaders cannot cede responsibility for their employees,” Biden said in a tweeted statement. —Jacob Pramuk

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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