February 28 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Angela Dewan, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:08 PM ET, Fri February 28, 2020
103 Posts
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6:11 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

President Trump says he hopes Federal Reserve 'gets involved' over economic fears related to coronavirus

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Sam Fossum

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday at the White House that he hopes the Federal Reserve "gets involved" by cutting interest rates.

"Well I hope the Fed gets involved. You know I’m not a big fan of the Fed. You know that. I think they make a lot of mistakes. They’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I hope the Fed gets involved and I hope they get involved soon," Trump said. 

The President then began comparing the US to other countries, like Germany, who were "putting in a lot of money and they're probably lowering rates," he said.

"If you look at other countries, they’re all stuffing the till, they’re all going in there, they’re putting in a lot of money," Trump said. "And our Fed sits there, doesn’t do what they’re supposed to be doing."

Central banks around the world are closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak, and investors believe they will step in to keep the world's economies humming.

Stocks have been selling off all week, even briefly falling into a correction Thursday, as investors and economists grew increasingly concerned about the virus' impact on global supply chains and trade.

"The coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a statement. He added that the Fed is "closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook."

5:48 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

There are no plans to modify Cherry Blossom Festival over coronavirus concerns, National Park Service says

CNN’s Mary Kay Mallonee and Greg Wallace

Visitors enjoy the cherry blossom trees during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, in 2016.
Visitors enjoy the cherry blossom trees during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, in 2016.

The National Park Service said Friday it currently has no plans to modify the popular spring Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington due to the coronavirus but is “closely monitoring the situation.”   

"While there have been no identified cases of Coronavirus in any national park, the National Park Service Office of Public Health and the US Public Health Service officers assigned to the National Park Service are closely monitoring the situation and keeping park staffs informed, relying on the most updated data and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," NPS said in a statement.

The weeks-long festival, centered around the flowering trees planted near the National Mall in Washington, typically takes place in March and April and draws visitors from around the country and world, NPS said. Last year, about 1.6 million people from around the world attended the festival, NPS said.

5:23 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Florida is currently monitoring 150 people for coronavirus

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Wesfeldt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vice President Mike Pence, right, take questions during a Florida Coronavirus Response Meeting, at the West Palm Beach International Airport, Friday, February 28, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vice President Mike Pence, right, take questions during a Florida Coronavirus Response Meeting, at the West Palm Beach International Airport, Friday, February 28, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Terry Renna/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that 700 people who have returned from China have been monitored for coronavirus in the state. Of those, 150 are still being monitored, 15 have tested negative and 4 are “under investigation.” 

What this means: Being “monitored” means the person is self-isolated and with limited contact — keeping at least 6-feet distance — with others. The individual also checks his or her temperature twice a day. If the person develops symptoms, they are asked to contact the state.

The people who have been tested for Coronavirus have exhibited symptoms like coughing and fever. The four people who are “under investigation” exhibited respiratory symptoms.

DeSantis made this announcement after meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in West Palm Beach.

DeSantis said he expressed that one of the biggest issues the state is dealing with is not being able to test for coronavirus locally. The Florida governor said he would like to have testing done in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami. 

5:14 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Mexico confirms its second case of coronavirus

From CNN's Clara Lopez in Atlanta

Dr. Efren Encina Torres
Dr. Efren Encina Torres CNN

Mexico’s health ministry has “confirmed two cases of coronavirus in Mexico, the first in the capital and the second in Sinaloa,” the Mexican government said on its official Twitter Friday.

The patient, who will not be taken to the hospital unless his health worsens, has been isolated in a hotel room, Sinaloa’s health secretary, Dr. Efren Encina Torres said at a press conference.

Mexican Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer Varela told Sinaloa health authorities that the patient traveled to Italy on Feb. 15 and arrived to Mexico on Feb. 22, Dr. Encina Torres added. Five days later, the patient landed at the Culiacan airport in Sinaloa from Mexico City and Guadalajara.

The patient was with another person who is also isolated and undergoing tests, Dr. Encina Torres said.

4:39 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Anderson Cooper will be live soon and talking to reporters around the world

The World Health Organization has announced the coronavirus outbreak has reached the “highest level” of risk for the world.

Anderson Cooper Full Circle will be live at 5 p.m. and will check in with correspondents around the world to see how countries are handling the outbreak.

You can watch Full Circle at the top of this page.

4:23 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Iraq announces new coronavirus case, bringing total to 8

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq in Atlanta and Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

A woman in Baghdad tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Iran, bringing the total cases in Iraq to eight, the Iraqi Health Ministry said in a statement today.

The 32-year-old woman is currently under quarantine. She tested positive after she went to a medical facility in the capital.

4:21 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Stocks just had their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis

From CNN Business’ Anneken Tappe

It was a terrible week for the US stock market. The three major stock indexes posted their worst weekly percentage drops since the financial crisis as coronavirus fears mounted.

  • The Dow closed 357 points, or 1.4%, lower, on its seventh day in the red. At its worst, the index was down nearly 1,086 points. The index dropped 12.4% this week.
  • The S&P 500 finished down 0.8%. For the week, it dropped 11.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed flat, falling 10.5% on the week.

 All three major stock benchmarks recorded their worst week since October 2008.

4:56 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

The travel industry's largest trade show canceled due to coronavirus

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The very last group that wanted to cancel a trade show right now is the travel industry, which is already scrambling to deal with the disruptions in travel due to the coronavirus.

But that's what happened today as ITB Berlin, which had been due to draw 160,000 participants starting Wednesday, was canceled due to a decision from local authorities in Berlin.

”With more than 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries ITB Berlin is extremely important for the world’s tourism industry," said Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin, the host of the show. "We take our responsibility for the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and employees very seriously. It is with a heavy heart that we must now come to terms with the cancellation of ITB Berlin 2020.”

"The fact that the largest global travel show is being canceled right now is telling," said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, a leading research firm in the sector.

This is just the latest high profile business event canceled due to the concerns about having a large gathering of people from around the globe during the health crisis. Earlier Friday the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled.

Earlier this month the Mobile World Congress, the largest show for the mobile phone industry set for Barcelona was canceled. On Thursday, Facebook (FB) canceled F8, its biggest annual event.

4:06 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

When should I reconsider my travel plans?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Many readers have asked when they should begin reconsidering their travel plans as coronavirus fears intensify.

Tariro Mzezewa, a travel reporter for the New York Times, said the situation is still so fluid — so it's impossible to predict what kind of travel advisories might exist weeks or months from now.

"I think if your trip is a few months away, you're okay. This is a really fluid situation. Things are changing not even weekly, but day-to-day things are changing, so if you've got a trip at the end of April, give it a little bit more time and see how the situation evolves," she said.

A few days to about a week before your expected departure might be the time to think about possible changes to your plans.

Remember: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US State Department are both issuing regular travel advisories for destinations that are significantly impacted by the virus outbreak. Monitor those "closely and regularly," advises Dr. Henry Wu, director of Emory Healthcare's TravelWell Center.


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