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The Coronavirus Crash: Here's What Trump Is Proposing, Plus Some Good News from China

03-10-2020
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8% on March 9, 2020, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008, as a free-fall in oil prices and fears of fallout from the coronavirus outbreak seized markets. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8% on March 9, 2020, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008, as a free-fall in oil prices and fears of fallout from the coronavirus outbreak seized markets. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Monday brought the worst coronavirus crash so far, sending stock markets plunging in a freefall that led to the biggest drop since 2008. Now President Trump is proposing a step to stop the slide even as a bit of good news appears to also be coming out of China.

The White House is set to ask Congress for a payroll tax cut and economic assistance to hourly workers to help those hurt financially by the coronavirus.

"We are to be meeting with House Republicans, Mitch McConnell, and discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief," President Trump said Monday during a news conference at the White House.

Financial experts say the relief could be a boost to public confidence.

"Yes, it would make a difference," Dan Celia, president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, told CBN News, warning that the coronavirus fears are actually undermining economic strength. "Now it's beginning to hurt the economy in a bigger way – that will make a huge difference." 

Did Markets Bottom Out on Monday?

Stock markets in Asia recovered some of their losses Tuesday following their worst day since the 2008 financial crisis. Oil prices also bounced back from a record-setting fall.

The Dow fell more than 2,000 points Monday, triggering a halt on trading for the first time in two decades after the market plunged seven percent in just a few minutes. 

READ Why Trading Curbs Kicked in Monday as Stocks Plunged and What You Should Do About It

"The markets over time have up until now always recovered, it might not be next month or next quarter, but we need to keep, if it is for retirement purposes, we need to keep that long term picture in mind," said Joel Griffith with the Heritage Foundation.

Still, analysts expect markets around the world to continue bouncing in and out of negative territory for some time.

"So don't go into the market and go bottom fishing, because the bottom is still yet to come," said Francis Lun with Hong Kong-based Geo Securities Limited.

Quarantine Measures from the White House to Italy

In Washington, the president's new chief of staff Mark Meadows has self-quarantined after possibly coming into contact with a person infected with coronavirus. 

Several other Republican lawmakers, who met with the president, also quarantining themselves out of an abundance of caution.

GET YOUR FREE FACTSHEET:
Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Meanwhile, the streets of Florence, Italy were practically empty this morning after the government there placed the entire country of some 60 million people under quarantine.
  
Overnight, residents of the Italian capital stood in long lines stockpiling food as schools, universities, restaurants and all social gatherings have been banned until April 3rd. 

"It is right at this time to stay at home," said Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte. "Our future, the future of Italy is in our hands and our hands have to be responsible hands, today more than ever. Everyone has to do their part."

Nine thousand cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, and 463 people there have died so far – the largest numbers outside of China.

Good Signs Emerge from China

In Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, some patients who had the most severe cases, are now recovering.  

Chinese state TV showed a 56-year-old man being transferred from the ICU to the ordinary ward.

"I've passed the severe period," said Mr. Zhu, a COVID-19 patient. "It means I've defeated the disease."

Beijing saying its efforts to control the virus are working as government officials reported the lowest number of new cases since January.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited medical workers and patients in Wuhan for the first time today in a signal that perhaps the country has finally brought the outbreak under control.

"If we can see a country have more than 80,000 cases now start to see a decline, that is more than hope," said the World Health Organization's Maria van Kerkhove during a press briefing. "That is evidence showing that this can be done."

GET YOUR FREE FACTSHEET:
Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

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