Coronavirus effects take hold as Trump calls criticisms a ‘hoax’

Virus effects take hold as Trump calls criticisms a 'hoax'
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“Hoax.” Or as it really is, Trumpspeak, for “I don’t like the way this may make me look. Waaa Waaa Waaa Hooooooooax Waaaaaaaaaa…

TOKYO — The coronavirus outbreak’s impact on the world economy grew more alarming on Saturday, even as President Donald Trump denounced criticisms of his response to the threat as a “hoax” cooked up by his political enemies.

New data released by manufacturing powerhouse China, where the virus was first detected in December, showed a sharp drop in the purchasing managers’ index to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below shows contraction.

National Bureau of Statistics senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said the novel coronavirus outbreak was a direct cause of the sharp decline.

Elsewhere around the world, already slumping financial markets dropped even lower on Friday, while virus fears led to emptied shops and amusement parks, canceled events, and drastically reduced trade and travel…

The head of the World Health Organization on Friday announced that the risk of the virus spreading worldwide was “very high,” while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the “window of opportunity” for containing the virus was narrowing.

Stock markets around the world plunged again Friday. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index took yet another hit, closing down nearly 360 points. The index has dropped more than 14% from a recent high, making this the market’s worst week since 2008, during the global financial crisis.

In Asia, Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan announced they would close, and events that were expected to attract tens of thousands of people were called off, including a concert series by the K-pop group BTS.

Tourist arrivals in Thailand are down 50% compared with a year ago, and in Italy — which has reported 888 cases, the most of any country outside of Asia — hotel bookings are falling and Premier Giuseppe Conte raised the specter of recession. The Swiss government banned events with more than 1,000 people, while at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, basins of holy water were emptied for fear of spreading germs…

Europe’s economy is already teetering on the edge of recession. A measure of business sentiment in Germany fell sharply last week, suggesting that some companies could postpone investment and expansion plans. China is a huge export market for German manufacturers…

if COVID19 becomes a global pandemic, economists expect the impact could be much worse, with the U.S. and other global economies falling into recession […] Read the entire story at abcnews.go

Emphasis ours

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