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FLASH: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said the coronavirus is being weaponized to bring down President Trump.
US economy will be able to ride out any disruption from the global spread of coronavirus, plus not anticipating the Fed to cut interest rates to blunt the virus’ economic impact, that according to a Top White House adviser Tuesday,
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in a TV interview on that the virus has so far been tightly contained in the US despite calls by federal public health officials for businesses and others to prepare for possible major disruption.
“This is very tightly contained in the US,” Mr. Kudlow said, adding any such emergency planning does not mean a wider outbreak of the virus will come to pass in the United States.
“I’m not hearing the Fed’s going to make any panic move,” he said, referring to growing market expectations that the virus will push the Fed bank to cut rates.
“Apart from the virus, I have said I wouldn’t mind seeing my friends at the Fed be a little bolder in their target rate and their balance sheet. I said that before the virus, that’s not related to the virus,” he said.
“There will be some stumbles. We are looking at numbers; it’s a little iffy,” Kudlow said. ”But at the moment … there’s no supply disruptions out there yet,” he said
Mr. Kudlow said the US is “holding up nicely,” adding: “All I can do is look at the numbers.”
US health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday raised the alarm about the likely spread of coronavirus and urged Americans to get prepared now, following swift-moving outbreaks in China, SKorea, Japan, Iran and Italy.
Mr. Kudlow Tuesday praised US health officials for “preparing for any eventualities” but also urged Americans and financial investors not to overreact.
“The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” the Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said.
What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a US outbreak might be. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe,” she cautioned.
Businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possibility that their lives may be disrupted if the virus begins spreading within US communities.
Separately, US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate subcommittee there will likely be more cases in the United States, and he asked lawmakers to approve $2.5-B in funding to fight the outbreak after proposing cuts to the department’s budget.
“While the immediate risk to individual members of the American public remains low, there is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia, which is deeply concerning,” Secretary Azar said, adding that recent outbreaks in Iran and Italy were worrying.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) says the epidemic has peaked in China, coronavirus cases have surfaced in about 30 other countries and territories, with some 36 deaths reported, according to a Reuters tally.
Growing outbreaks in Iran, Italy and SKorea have raised concerns that coronavirus could surface in other nations and worsen in those that have already reported infections, further denting the global economy that had already been hit by a dependence on China.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said the coronavirus is being weaponized to bring down President Trump.
“Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you,” he said. “It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.
“Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. I am dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”
He blasted the media for hyping the outbreak.
“It is really being hyped as a deadly Andromeda Strain or Ebola pandemic, as ‘Oh, my God, if you get it, you are dead,‘” he said.
Mr. Limbaugh claimed the survival rate is 98% among those who have the coronavirus.
“You have to read very deeply to find that number, that 2% of the people get the coronavirus die,” he said. “That is less than the flu, folks. That is a far lower death statistic than any form of influenza, which is an annual thing that everybody gets shots for. There is nothing unusual about the coronavirus.”
Major US stock indexes fell again Tuesday after a selloff Monday.
Tuesday, the major US stock market indexes finished at: DJIA -879.44 at 27081.28, NAS Comp -255.67 at 8965.65, S&P 500 -97.68 at 3128.21
Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at 1.4-B/shares exchanged.
- NAS Comp -0.1% YTD
- S&P 500 -3.2% YTD
- DJIA -5.1% YTD
- Russell 2000 -5.8% YTD
HeffX-LTN’s overall all outlook for the major US stock market indexes is Neutral to Bullish in here.
Looking ahead: Investors will receive New Home Sales for January and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index Wednesday.