Luxury fashion behemoth LVMH switching production lines from perfume to hand sanitizer
Luxury brands conglomerate LVMH, which owns high-end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi, will berepurposing its perfume production linesto start making hand sanitizer as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. LVMH says it wants to tackle a nationwide shortage of anti-viral products in France, BBC News reports.
The company announced Sunday it will produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels and deliver them, free of charge, to health authorities.
White House cancels Easter Egg Roll over coronavirus fears
The White House hascalled off this year’s Easter Egg Rollas public health officials across the country implement new measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The annual event, which takes place on the South Lawn, was scheduled to take place April 13, but was canceled “out of an abundance of caution,” the White House said.
“The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,” first lady Melania Trump said in a statement. “I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term.”
Coronavirus forces Supreme Court to delay oral arguments for first time in 100 years
The Supreme Court ispostponing oral argumentsscheduled for late March and early April in response to the coronavirus outbreak, marking the first time the high court has pushed back arguments since the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918.
The court announced in a statement Monday that it would be delaying arguments scheduled for its March session, during which the justices were set to hear disputes March 23 to March 25 and March 30 to April 1.
It’s unclear when the oral arguments will take place, and the Supreme Court said it “will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances.”
Cuba letting cruise ship dock with known COVID-19 cases
Cuba’s Foreign Minister confirmed Monday that Havana has authorized a British cruise ship with a “small number” of coronavirus patients on board to dock.
Minister Bruno Rodríguez said in a tweet Cuba had agreed to let the MS Braemar, reportedly carrying more than 600 people, dock after receiving a request from the British government. He said passengers and crew would be received in accordance with sanitary protocols established by the WHO and Cuba’s Health Ministry.
A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office told CBS News on Monday that it was “working around the clock to arrange evacuation flights from Cuba to the U.K. as soon as possible for passengers” on the ship.
The Foreign Office said the evacuation was being coordinated with the ship’s owner, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and the British passengers were being kept informed “as the plans progress.”
Michigan joins list of states closing most non-essential businesses
Michigan has become the latest state to order the closure of virtually all non-essential entertainment and recreation facilities in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Michigan’s schools were already shuttered last week, through at least the first week of April.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the order Monday to temporarily close theaters, bars, and casinos, and limit restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders only.
The order, which takes effect at 3 p.m. local time on Monday, covers restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos, according to the governor’s office.
CBS News’ Seth Doane gives a 1st hand account of having coronavirus
Six CBS News employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19,including foreign correspondent Seth Doane. Appearing Monday on “CBS This Morning” from his home in Rome, Italy, Doane described his symptoms, testing and coronavirus diagnosis, and his experience living under quarantine.
He said he got tested after he “coughed a little bit, just enough to worry the people I was with.”
“For the most part, I feel okay,” Doane said, adding that he has had colds with worse symptoms.
“The psychological part for me has been worse than the physical part,” Doane said. Watch the video above to see Doane’s full report from Rome.
French flee Paris amid fears of a nationwide lockdown
Parisians were fleeing the French capital in droves Monday amid fears that President Emmanuel Macron could announce a nationwide lockdown in the coming days. Macron was to address his nation later Monday.
Many Parisians with weekend homes in the countryside or family outside the capital started heading out when the government ordered all cafés, restaurants, cinemas and non-essential stores to close from Saturday.
Mainline rail links and airline services have been severely reduced, and people fear a total ban on free movement could be just around the corner. Commuter transport in and around Paris was running as normal early Monday, but with schools and universities closed and people being encouraged to work from home, the metro system in particular was emptier than usual.
Paris city hall announced that all city parks would be closed at least through Tuesday.
There were lines outside supermarkets and pharmacies, made longer by shoppers heeding the government’s call to keep at least three feet between people in public. That call seemed to go largely unheeded in Paris on Sunday as thousands strolled in the sun, gathered on park benches, or picnicked by the Seine river, prompting criticism from health officials.
1 doctor and 1 patient test positive at Children’s National Hospital in D.C.
Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. said Monday that one of its doctors and a young patient had tested positive for the new coronavirus.
“Yesterday we informed our staff that one of our physicians tested positive for COVID-19,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that “additional testing capabilities” at the renowned pediatric facility had yielded a positive test on a patient treated in its emergency department.
“The ED team followed all infection control protocols to protect other patients, families and staff and the child did not need to be admitted,” the hospital said.
The hospital was working with government officials to trace people who had come into contact with both the doctor and the patient. It was not immediately clear whether the two had been in contact with each other.
Germany closing most bars, clubs and other public venues
As of Monday afternoon there were 4,838 reported cases of COVID-19 in Germany and 12 reported deaths. Bars, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and other public venues were to be closed across much of the country from Tuesday as it tries to rein in the coronavirus outbreak there.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned German citizens to travel abroad only in emergency situations, noting: “There is a high risk that you will not be able to return given the travel restrictions being introduced in many countries.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel told her country in a video message that people should avoid social contact as a gesture of solidarity with the elderly and others considered at high-risk of contracting the disease.
Germany has closed its borders with Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France and Denmark to all but essential travelers and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has promised Germany’s military will lend its support in combating the spread of COVID-19 if called upon.
— Anna Noryskiewicz
Grocery industry expert insists “supply is flowing,” stores will be restocked
Concern over anticipated shortages of food and other supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic is driving people to supermarkets and big-box stores. But one expertsays people shouldn’t worry and that shelves will be restocked.
Shelves were picked to the bone at a Walmart in Washington state, over-the-counter medicines were bought out from a Target in Virginia and long lines and bare shelves were seen at a Whole Foods in New York City, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports.
“Panic mode, people are terrified and they’re unsure of what to do, and there’s no sign of it getting better,” one customer said.
But Doug Baker, a vice president at the Food Industry Association, said the shortages are simply because of unexpected demand.
“There is no chance that they will not be able to fill,” he said. “There could be periodic shortages, and there might be times where consumers might not be able to get it for a couple of days, but supply is flowing, machines are running and the product will make it’s way back to the shelf.”
Trading halted again as Fed fails to ease Wall Street’s nerves
Stocktrading was halted on Mondayafter the Federal Reserve’s emergency action to slash its benchmark interest rate to nearly zero failed to quell Wall Street’s fears of a recession that could emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Across the country, states and cities are closing schools, bars and restaurants in an effort to slow the disease but which leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to income losses.
The Dow plunged 2,250 points, or 9.7%, to 20,935 when trading opened at 9:30 a.m. The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 8.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 6.1%.
The steep plunge in the S&P 500 triggered a “circuit breaker” that halt trading when stocks decline by 7%, 13% or 20% in a single trading session. It’s the third trading halt since last Monday. The measures were first adopted after the 1987 crash, and until this week hadn’t been tripped since 1997.
2 major European airlines slash schedules, Norwegian temporarily lays off thousands
Two more major European airlines announced broad cuts to flight schedules Monday as the coronavirus pandemic takes an increasingly devastating toll on the aviation industry. President Trump’s move over the weekend to extend a U.S. entry ban on travelers with recent time spent most European nations to cover the U.K. has further sapped already meagre demand for transatlantic travel.
Britain’s Virgin Atlantic said Monday that it would ground 75% of its entire fleet within 10 days and as much as 85% of its planes during April. Virgin said it would also ask employees to take eight weeks of leave without pay over the next several months to try to avoid having to lay people off.
At Norwegian Air, the cuts were even deeper. The carrier slashed 85% of its flights and said it would temporarily lay off 7,300 staff.
Major U.S. airlines have also announced significant reductions in flight schedules.
Amid rampant shortages, Chinese mogul donates virus tests and masks to U.S.
Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba,says his foundation is donating500,000 COVID-19 testing kits and 1 million protective face masks to the U.S. He said in a tweet Monday that the first shipment was already on its way from Shanghai.
“Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in prevent the spread of the virus,” Ma said in a statement posted online Friday. “At this moment, we can’t beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons.”
His donation comes as health workers across the U.S. continue to report difficulties getting hold of the COVID-19 tests they need, and as many voice concerns over new guidelines from the CDC on what type of protective masks should be worn.
Amid a shortage of the N95-type masks known to shield against the virus, the CDC has lowered the standard for clinicians, suggesting normal surgical masks can be worn instead.
“This will become a tragedy, lots of nurses and doctors will die, and make this country look incompetent,” one U.S. doctor told CBS News in an email.
Coronavirus keeping more than 32 million U.S. kids out of school
Thirty-three states areclosing public schoolsto stop the spread of the coronavirus, affecting at least 32.5 million K-12 students.
New York City’s school system, the largest in the nation, was closed from Monday. The sudden closures are forcing parents and guardians to find child care at a moment’s notice.
The closures come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says closing for at least eight weeks may help mitigate the virus’ spread.
As CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver reports, the closures are forcing parents to grasp not only for childcare, but in some cases also just to keep their children fed.
Spain sees cases surge, says total lockdown could be next step
Spain has become the fourth most virus-infected country in the world, surpassing South Korea with a sharp curve of contagion, and closing its borders is a “real possibility” being considered.
The topic will be discussed by European Union members on Monday, according to the country’s interior minister.
Coronavirus cases in Spain rose by roughly 1,000 cases in 24 hours to 8,744 on Monday, and the number of fatalities reached 297.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska said a total lockdown could be the next step, after deploying the army to the streets and to clean train stations, ordering 46 million to stay at home and taking over control of private hospitals.
CBS News’ Imtiaz Tayab reports that Spain, France and Italy all saw their highest single-day death rates from the virus on Sunday. In Italy the jump came in spite of a whole-country lockdown.
Man shouting about coronavirus leads to 8-hour delay for Dallas-Nashville flight
A man who became aggravated on an American Airlines flight and shouted about having the coronavirus disease delayed the Dallas to Nashville journey for everyone on board by eight hours.
The customer reportedly refused to stow his tray table as the plane was taxiing to the runway in Dallas, arguing with crew members and yelling “corona” and saying he had the virus. That led the pilots to return to the gate at Dallas Fort Worth, where the entire plane full of crew and passengers had to wait for crews in protective gear to board and remove the man.
Medical workers evaluated the man and determined he was exhibiting no signs of the COVID-19 disease and did not have a fever. He apparently told officials he was just tired and needed to take his medication. He was arrested by law enforcement.
An official then re-boarded the plane and explained to the other passengers the circumstances before the flight was allowed to carry on, but some crew members were apparently uncomfortable remaining on the aircraft. Those staffing issues contributed to what ended up being an eight-hour delayed arrival in Nashville.
2nd U.K. lawmaker tests positive as Britain confirms 35 virus deaths
A second British lawmaker confirmed she had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Member of Parliament Kate Osborne said she was diagnosed with the disease after already self-isolating.
“I will continue to self isolate until I have fought off the illness, but in the meantime I would encourage everyone to band together and support the most vulnerable in our communities,” she said in a tweet.
Osborne’s diagnosis came after another MP, Health Minister Nadine Dorries, confirmed her positive COVID-19 test result last week. A number of lawmakers have self-isolated after coming into contact with her.
Britain has reported 1,372 confirmed cases of COVID-19, though officials believe the number of infected people in the country could be much higher. As of Monday, 35 people have died of the disease in the U.K.
Trump administration insists no “national lockdown” amid quarantine rumors
The National Security Council has denied rumors spreading via text messages and social media that the entire country might be put under a mandatory two-week quarantine.
A tweet send Sunday evening by the NSC said the “rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown.”
The NSC urged Americans to get the latest official guidance on the coronavirus from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, which has not even recommended wide-scale local quarantines. It has urged all gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled or postponed.
CDC recommends rescheduling all gatherings of more than 50 people
The CDC has recommended that gatherings of 50 people or more in the U.S. be canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing,” the CDC’s statement reads. “When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.”
The CDC added that its advisory does not apply to places of business and schools, but many of those have been closed across the country, too.
While most American professional sports leagues had already suspended play for the time being, the CDC’s recommendations will likely further delay play.
Stocks keep falling in spite of Fed’s emergency coronavirus measures
Global stock markets were falling fast after the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate to near zero Sunday evening to help blunt the economic damage from the fast-spreading novel coronavirus. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called the actions “strong measures” but the emergency rate cut — the second in two weeks and an unusually large one-percentage-point cut, at that — seemed to unnerve investors.
Stock-market futures indicated the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 would be sharply lower when stocks begin trading in the U.S. on Monday morning. Those futures began dropping almost immediately after the Fed announced the rate cut on Sunday. The central bank also said it was upping what’s known as purchases of Treasuries and other bonds by $700 billion, a policy known as “quantitative easing,” to encourage lending by financial institutions.
“The Fed’s latest move does not change our expectation that the economy will slow dramatically in the near term,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist with High Frequency Economics, told investors in a report after the Fed’s rate cut.
Peace Corps suspending all operations globally, evacuating volunteers
The Peace Corps is telling its volunteers around the world that it’ssuspending all operations globallyand evacuating all volunteers in light of the spread of the new coronavirus.
In an open letter to volunteers posted Sunday on its website, the federal agency’s director, Jody Olsen, says the decision follows recent evacuations in China and Mongolia due to the outbreak. Olsen says that with evacuations now underway at other posts and travel becoming more challenging by the day, the agency decided to expand the suspension and evacuations.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where Volunteers are unable to leave their host countries,” Olsen says.
White House to screen anyone who enters in bid to shield Trump and staff
The White House has put in place new measures to protect President Donald Trump and his staff during the coronavirus outbreak. Starting Monday, the White House will take the temperature of anyone entering the complex, from visitors to members of the press corps.
The new measures expand on screenings the White House began Saturday for anyone who will get close to Mr. Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
Los Angeles joins other major cities closing some non-essential businesses
Los Angeles has joined the growing list of major U.S. cities to order the closure of bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and other non-essential businesses in a bid to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced late Sunday that, as in New York City and Chicago, grocery stores would remain open and restaurants could continue to sell food for takeout and delivery.
The closures in Chicago were part of state-wide measures in Illinois, which have also been implemented in Ohio, Massachusetts and Washington state.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all schools in New York City’s public school system, the country’s largest, would be closed starting this week. The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said they would reopen April 20 at the earliest.
Brothers’ hand sanitizer profits plan squashed
Thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and packs of antibacterial wipes and medical masks have been donated after a failed attempt by two Tennessee brothers to resell them for huge profits profit during the coronavirus outbreak.
Boxes were taken Sunday from a storage unit and the home of Matt Colvin of Hixson, Tennessee, news outlets reported. The items, including 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer, were donated to a local church and some supplies will head to Kentucky, where Colvin had cleared store shelves.
Colvin and his brother, Noah Colvin, had cleared store shelves of the items before online retailer Amazon stopped their sales and the state attorney general sent a cease-and-desist letter.
The purchases were first featured in a story in a story in The New York Times that reported the brothers drove to stores scooping up supplies around Chattanooga, Tennessee, on March 1, the day after the first U.S. coronavirus death was announced.
– The Associated Press
Lindsey Graham says he tested negative for coronavirus
Senator Lindsey Graham announced Sunday on Twitter his test for coronavirus came back negative.
“I’m very grateful and like everyone else will follow the best practices to stay negative,” the senator added.
Oklahoma and Maine declare states of emergency
Both Oklahoma and Maine declared states of emergency Sunday amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Oklahoma reported its eighth confirmed case of the coronavirus, according to a statement from Governor Kevin Stitt.
Maine Governor Janet Mills advised in a press conference Sunday that all hospitals should halt elective surgeries, according to CBS affiliate WABI. Mills also recommended closing all schools in the state.
Las Vegas casinos shut down
Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International said Sunday they are temporarily closing their casinos in Las Vegas.
Wynn operates the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, and expects the closure to last at least two weeks beginning Tuesday. It said it would pay full-time workers during that time.
MGM runs several casinos, including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and Mirage, and said it would suspend operations “until further notice.”
“Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression,” said MGM CEO Jim Murren. “Accordingly, we will close all of our Las Vegas properties as of Tuesday, March 17th, for the good of our employees, guests and communities.”