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CDC official says believes immediate risk from coronavirus in US remains low.

Key comments from US health officials

  • CDC official says “no longer a question of if” a coronavirus pandemic will happen, but when it will happen.
  • NIH’s Fauci says a possible coronavirus vaccine could be tested in humans in a phase 1 trial within a month and a half.
  • Fauci says the earliest a coronavirus vaccine could be tested and available to public would be a year or a year and a half.
  • Fauci says testing on the effectiveness of Gilead’s Gild.O potential antiviral coronavirus treatment could be done in a “reasonable amount of time”.
  •  says outbreak will likely disrupt medical supply chain in u.s., including potential shortages.
  • FDA commissioner Hahn says there could be shortages in personal protective equipment.
  • NIH secretary says US intends to keep travel restrictions with china in place for the moment.

Market implications

The markets do not seem to think so. Panic has struck and US benchmarks are in a rout. Monday was the worst day for American markets since February 2018, with the S&P 500 falling 3.4 percent after officials in Italy and South Korea reported new infections. On Tuesday, all three US indexes started the morning in positive territory, then fell around midday on stark warnings fro the CDC.  Dow Jones Industrial losing 906 points, 3.2%, to trade near 27,056, while the S&P 500 lost 99 points, 3%, and was trading near 3,127. The Nasdaq Composite dropped below 9,000, after shedding 259 points, or 2.8%, to 8,961.2.