1/ Trump banned foreign visitors from most of Europe for 30-days in an effort to curb the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump blamed European and Chinese travelers for bringing the “foreign virus” to the U.S., while accusing the European Union of “[failing] to take the same precautions” the U.S. had implemented to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The ban, which begins Friday at midnight, does not apply to the United Kingdom or to U.S. citizens, and there are waivers under multiple circumstances. Reading from a prepared script, Trump incorrectly described his own policy, saying that the travel restrictions would impact a “tremendous amount” of trade and cargo. The White House later clarified that the ban would not include cargo. Trump urged Americans to heed the CDC’s guidelines for Americans to protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus – instructions he has repeatedly contradicted, ignored, or downplayed over the last few weeks – and claimed the government was moving “very quickly” to fix a chronic shortage of coronavirus test kits. Trump, however, provided no specifics about how many Americans would be able to be tested, and when and where those tests could occur. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN / ABC News / The Intercept)

  • The U.S. did not coordinate or notify the European Union before Trump announced the travel restrictions. The European Union also condemned Trump’s decision to ban travelers from most of Europe visiting the U.S., saying “The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.” (NBC News / Politico / Reuters / Al Jazeera)

  • Trump’s European travel restrictions exempt nations where his three golf courses are located. Trump has two properties in the United Kingdom – Trump Turnberry and Trump International Golf Links in Scotland – plus another resort in Doonbeg, Ireland. (Politico / Business Insider)

  • Trump suggested that it’s a “possibility” he could impose travel restrictions within the U.S. if certain areas get “too hot.” Trump also defended his restrictions on travel from Europe, saying that he didn’t consult with E.U. leaders because he had to “move quickly.” (NBC News / Politico)

  • EXPLAINED: Trump’s travel ban. (Politico)

2/ The CDC tested 77 total people for coronavirus on Monday and Tuesday. The total number of people tested for the coronavirus in the U.S. by the CDC as of Wednesday morning was 1,784. Meanwhile, 7,617 people have been tested by state laboratories. The U.S. has 1,300 confirmed cases, with 38 deaths. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are “frustrated” with the CDC’s “struggle to give a really strong answer” about why the U.S. hasn’t been able to duplicate the testing being used in other countries like South Korea. (Yahoo News / CNN)

3/ Trump met with a Brazilian official at Mar-a-Lago who later tested positive for coronavirus. Fabio Wajngarten, communications secretary to Jair Bolsonaro, accompanied the Brazilian president on the visit to Florida and dined with Trump and other U.S. official on Saturday. The White House said Trump will not be tested for the coronavirus because “Both the president and vice president had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive.” Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham, however, decided to self-quarantine due to possible contact with Wajngarten. Two days ago, Bolsonaro said the danger posed by coronavirus “is not all the mainstream media makes it out to be.” Trump, meanwhile, told reporters: “Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned.” (NPR / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN / The Guardian)

  • A Senate staffer tested positive for COVID-19. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office announced that the staffer has been placed in isolation and that the office will be closed for the rest of the week to undergo cleaning. The case marks the first known incident of a congressional staffer contracting the virus. (The Hill)

  • Satellite images show new sections of graveyards in Iran the size of a football field near where coronavirus infections emerged. While Iran’s government has not released an official death toll for Qom, the spiritual center of Iran’s ruling Shiite clerics, Iranian authorities began digging a pair of trenches for victims days after the government disclosed the initial outbreak. Iran’s Health Ministry officially said that 429 people have died from COVID-19 in the country. (Washington Post)

4/ Trump is expected to sign a limited federal disaster declaration to cover small business loans, paychecks for hourly workers, and delay tax bills in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, however, is reportedly concerned that going further would undermine his narrative that the coronavirus is similar to the seasonal flu and further hurt the markets. (CNN / Politico / Politico)

  • Mike Pence said people are using “irresponsible rhetoric” to downplay the seriousness of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, Trump said the “fake news media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything to inflame the coronavirus situation.” (NBC News)

  • Trump attacked Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi nine hours after calling on lawmakers to “put politics aside [and] stop the partisanship.” (New York Times)

5/ The Trump administration and House Democrats are negotiating a bipartisan deal on an economic coronavirus relief package, which would provide food security assistance, paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, and unemployment benefits for people affected by the spread of the pandemic. The House hopes to vote on the package Thursday and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would cancel next week’s recess to advance “bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.” Trump, however, objected to what he called Democratic “goodies” in the bill – specifically an increase in federal funding for Medicaid and changes to what that White House said could provide money for abortions. Republicans are opposed to the paid sick leave proposal, complaining that Democrats are using the pandemic to accomplish long-held domestic priorities, which McConnell called an “ideological wish list.” (Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg / New York Times / New York Times / Reuters)

6/ The S&P 500 and Dow both had their worst day since the 1987 Black Monday market crash. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also joined the Dow in bear market territory — a decline of 20% from the most recent highs. Trading was halted twice after triggering thresholds in premarket trading and immediately after the opening bell. Trump, meanwhile, predicted that the markets are “going to all bounce back and it’s going to bounce back very big.” (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post)

  • Trump – in an explosive tirade – reportedly pressured Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to encourage the Federal Reserve to do more to stimulate the economy. Trump complained that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is damaging his presidency and should never have been appointed. Mnuchin encouraged Trump to nominate Powell in 2017. (Washington Post)

  • The Federal Reserve said it would inject more than $1.5 trillion of temporary liquidity into the financial system. The action is not intended to stimulate the economy, but ensure proper functioning of the market for Treasuries, which influences all other credit markets. (Wall Street Journal / Politico / CNBC)

7/ The Pentagon is waiting on Trump to decide how to respond to an attack in Iraq that killed two U.S. troops. Iranian-backed militia groups fired about 30 rockets in Iraq, with about 12 to 18 hitting a base north of Baghdad. (Washington Post)


Canceled.

  1. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to cancel or postpone gatherings of 250 or more people statewide through the end of March. California now has 198 confirmed coronavirus case. (The Mercury News / Los Angeles Times)

  2. Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of 500 or more people across New York state. New York now has 328 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. (New York Times / CNBC)

  3. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, saying large venues like Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden will likely be closed for months. (CNBC)

  4. All Broadway theaters in New York City are closed. The Broadway League announced that the ban will be in effect until Sunday, April 12. (Time Out / Variety)

  5. Schools in Ohio are closed for at least three weeks. Gov. Mike DeWine said the “extended spring break” will begin Monday. (Cleveland.com)

  6. Washington State closed all K-12 schools, public and private, in the Seattle metro area until April 24. Across the King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, nearly 563,600 students attend public or charter schools. Roughly 216,700 of them qualify for subsidized meals. (Seattle Times)

  7. Maryland closed all public schools through March 27 and banned gatherings of more than 250 people. (NBC Washington)

  8. France closed all schools and universities until further notice. (Washington Post)

  9. Disneyland is closed until the end of the month. Its the fourth time in history that Disneyland has fully suspended operations. The park previously closed following the Sept. 11 attacks, the morning after JFK’s assassination, and the Northridge earthquake. (Variety)

  10. The NBA suspended its season “until further notice” after two Utah Jazz players tested positive for the coronavirus. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive. (ESPN / Bleacher Report)

  11. The NCAA canceled the March Madness basketball tournaments. The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, American, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, MAC, America East, Big Sky, and WAC also all canceled their conference basketball tournaments. Kansas and Duke banned all athletic travel indefinitely. (CNBC / ESPN / Washington Post)

  12. The NHL suspended its season with 189 games and three and a half weeks remaining in the regular season. (ESPN)

  13. MLS suspended its season for 30 days and the U.S. Soccer Federation canceled scheduled friendlies. (ESPN)

  14. MLB suspended the remainder of spring training. MLB was scheduled to open its season on March 26, with all 30 teams in action. (ESPN)

  15. The PGA Tour will continue to play but fans will not be allowed to attend the events through April 5. (Bleacher Report)

  16. The NFL said it has “no plans to move the start of the league year,” which starts March 18. (ESPN)


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