Coronavirus live updates: CVS to hire 50,000, Surgeon General issues ominous warning

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 343,421
  • Global deaths: At least 14,790
  • US cases: At least 35,224 
  • US deaths: At least 471

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The federal government is racing to ease the pain facing the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic makes its swift pivot from a public health crisis to financial catastrophe.

The damage from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, is unlike anything in modern times. Economists have warned the fallout could dwarf the 2008 recession, the worst downturn that many Americans can remember.

CNBC has compiled a list of steps taken by the federal government so far, counting actions taken by Congress and the executive branch, including the Federal Reserve, which operates independently from political officials. —Tucker Higgins

CVS Health said it plans to immediately fill 50,000 jobs across the U.S. to keep up with a demand for over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions, and other items during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a news release, CVS called it “the most ambitious hiring drive in the company’s history.”

The major pharmacy chain said it needs more store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service professionals for part-time, full-time and temporary roles. CVS will use virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and tech-enabled job tryouts to find the right candidates, according to a news release. —Melissa Repko

General Electric’s aviation unit, which makes some of the world’s most commonly used aircraft engines, said it is laying 10% of its U.S. workers — about 2,600 people — as coronavirus hurts demand.

Aviation has been hit especially hard by the virus, which has decimated air travel demand and prompted airlines including Delta, United, and others around the world to park hundreds of planes and defer deliveries of new aircraft in an attempt to save cash.

GE’s CEO Larry Culp said he would forgo his salary for the rest of the year, following similar moves by airline executives at airlines and at one of the industrial conglomerate’s biggest customers for new engines: Boeing. —Leslie Josephs

President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of posts on Twitter spreading conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, at one point promoting a dubious article that suggested a miracle cure was at hand.

“They should take a SERIOUS LOOK at this…” Chuck Callesto wrote in the tweet posted to the president’s account, with a link to a story with the headline “REPORT: French Doctor Reports 100 % Cure Rate Using Malaria Drug to Treat Corona Virus.”

There is no known cure or treatment for coronavirus, though scammers have sought to cash in on the panic it has caused. —Tucker Higgins

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/23/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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