March 16 coronavirus news

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4:09 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump: "We will back airlines 100%" during coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 


President Trump said that the administration will back airlines "100%" during the economic hit due to the spread of coronavirus.

He said it’s “not their fault. It’s nobody’s fault, unless you go to the original source,” once again attempting to put blame for the coronavirus pandemic on China.

When asked if there would be loans to the airlines, Trump did not specify if there would be loans or a bailout of the airline industry.


3:59 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump says he told his 13-year-old son "it's bad"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

 President Trump said he’s offered a grim assessment of the coronavirus outbreak with his 13-year-old son.

“It's bad, it's bad,” Trump said in describing his conversations about the crisis with his youngest son Barron. “But we're going to hopefully be a best case, not a worst case.”

That outlook is markedly different in tone than Trump has offered previously on the outbreak, which he’s attempted to minimize.

Still, Trump insisted the team he’s assembled is working professionally toward combatting the outbreak.


3:47 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump says he's not considering a nationwide quarantine or curfew

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said as of Monday there are no plans for a nationwide quarantine or curfew.

He said the administration might be looking at certain hotspots, but there aren’t plans to do a nationwide quarantine or curfew. 

"At this point, not nationwide, but there are some — you know, some places in our nation that are not very affected at all but we may — we may look at certain areas," he said when asked about the possibility of a nationwide lockdown.

3:39 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Two members of the French parliament test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

Two members of France’s lower house of parliament said they have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Sylvie Charrière, LaREM, who represents the Seine-Saint-Denis outside Paris, said Monday she tested positive but her condition does not require hospitalization. She added she will stay home for 14 days.

Earlier on Sunday, LR MP Guy Teissier, representing the Bouches-du-Rhône, said he also tested positive for coronavirus. He was “immediately hospitalized” at the IHU Méditerranée in Marseille following his test.

3:44 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Top US doctor: This "isn't an overreaction"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the new coronavirus guidelines from the White House may look like an overreaction — but insisted they're necessary.

"It will always seem that the best way to address it would be to be doing something that looks like it might be an overreaction. It isn't an overreaction. It's a reaction we feel is commensurate which is actually going on in reality," he said at a White House news conference.

Moments ago, President Trump unveiled recommendations on stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

White House officials are asking Americans should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10, urging them to stay away from bars restaurants and food courts and asking them to not travel if possible. 


3:51 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

White House recommends people avoid gatherings of more than 10 people


The White House has issued guidelines for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 days to slow the spread," many of the guidelines are broad and have been what the administration and health officials have been saying from the start of the outbreak. 

Included in the guidelines:

  • People should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10
  • People should stay away from bars restaurants and food courts, and to not travel if possible. 

The guidelines also say states that have seen community spread should close bars, restaurants and other public places, though again, that is not a mandate. Several cities including Philadelphia and San Francisco, and entire states including Maryland have already issued the order for bars and restaurants to close as soon as this evening. 


3:33 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

France closes its borders to contain the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan


French President Emmanuel Macron said the country’s borders will be closed to contain the coronavirus outbreak starting at noon local on Tuesday.

Moments ago, Macron said he was prohibiting gatherings across France, including family and other social gatherings.

3:22 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Russia will close its borders to foreigners on Wednesday

From CNN’s Nathan Hodge and Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Russia will bar entry to foreigners with some exceptions starting Wednesday, the Russian government said in a statement Monday.

A readout published Monday of calls between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and other heads of government said that Russia would temporarily restrict foreigners from entering its territory, effective at midnight local time on Tuesday.

The restrictions will continue until May 1, the statement said.

Those restrictions, according to the statement, will not apply to employees of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the Russian Federation, to transportation workers and aircrews and to members of official delegations.

Exceptions will also be given to those visiting Russia in connection with the death of a close relative, or to individuals permanently residing in the Russian Federation, and to transit passengers.

3:19 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

France bans all family and social gatherings

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced drastic measures, prohibiting gatherings across France, including family and other social gatherings.

The second round of the French elections will be also postponed, Macron said.

Earlier today, the city of Paris announced the closure of all public parks and gardens.

Macron said the country is “in a war” against the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are in a war… that’s why I decided that all reforms debated in parliament will be suspended,” he said. The government will draft a new legislation to face the crisis. 

A new military hospital will be deployed to reduce hospital congestion, Macron said.