March 16 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020
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4:15 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Dow records worst point drop in history

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

It was another ugly day for US stocks. The Dow recorded its worst one-day point drop in history and its worst performance on a percentage basis since October 19, 1987, also known as “Black Monday."

Stocks fell to session-lows in the final hour of trading, President Trump suggested fighting the outbreak could last until July or August.

 Here's where things stand:

  • The S&P 500 finished down nearly 12%.
  • The Dow closed 2,999 points, or 12.9%, lower.
  • The Nasdaq Composite ended down 12.3%.
4:04 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump suggests there may have been mixup in communications over whether he'd get coronavirus test

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez  

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump on Monday suggested there may have been a mix-up in communications at the White House over his recent coronavirus test.

Trump said he took the test “late Friday night,” but didn’t specify whether he took it before or after White House doctors issued a memo saying the President did not need to take a test.

“I had no symptoms whatsoever, so the doctor said, ‘You had no symptoms so we don’t see any reason (to get a test).’ But when I did the press conference on Friday everybody was going crazy,” Trump said in the White House briefing room, referring to questions from the press after being exposed to individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus.

“So very late on Friday night I did the test and he may have put out, or the doctor may have put out something … I don’t know what time the letter went out, maybe it was put up by somebody else. But the results came back, I believe, the following day and we tested negative,” Trump said.

CNN previously reported that the White House medical doctor released a memo Friday at midnight saying that Trump remains without symptoms for coronavirus and quarantine is not necessary. During a news conference earlier Friday, Trump had said he would likely get tested for coronavirus.

4:04 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump sees potential recession as result of coronavirus

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

The United States “may” be heading toward recession, President Trump says, his first acknowledgment of a potentially dire consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Well, it may be,” Trump said when asked if the US economy was heading toward a recession.

“We're not thinking in terms of recession,” Trump went on, saying his focus was fighting the virus itself.

He said once the disease is contained, there would be a “tremendous surge” in the economy as a result of “pent-up demand.”


4:09 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump: "We will back airlines 100%" during coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 


President Trump said that the administration will back airlines "100%" during the economic hit due to the spread of coronavirus.

He said it’s “not their fault. It’s nobody’s fault, unless you go to the original source,” once again attempting to put blame for the coronavirus pandemic on China.

When asked if there would be loans to the airlines, Trump did not specify if there would be loans or a bailout of the airline industry.


3:59 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump says he told his 13-year-old son "it's bad"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

 President Trump said he’s offered a grim assessment of the coronavirus outbreak with his 13-year-old son.

“It's bad, it's bad,” Trump said in describing his conversations about the crisis with his youngest son Barron. “But we're going to hopefully be a best case, not a worst case.”

That outlook is markedly different in tone than Trump has offered previously on the outbreak, which he’s attempted to minimize.

Still, Trump insisted the team he’s assembled is working professionally toward combatting the outbreak.


3:47 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Trump says he's not considering a nationwide quarantine or curfew

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said as of Monday there are no plans for a nationwide quarantine or curfew.

He said the administration might be looking at certain hotspots, but there aren’t plans to do a nationwide quarantine or curfew. 

"At this point, not nationwide, but there are some — you know, some places in our nation that are not very affected at all but we may — we may look at certain areas," he said when asked about the possibility of a nationwide lockdown.

3:39 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Two members of the French parliament test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

Two members of France’s lower house of parliament said they have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Sylvie Charrière, LaREM, who represents the Seine-Saint-Denis outside Paris, said Monday she tested positive but her condition does not require hospitalization. She added she will stay home for 14 days.

Earlier on Sunday, LR MP Guy Teissier, representing the Bouches-du-Rhône, said he also tested positive for coronavirus. He was “immediately hospitalized” at the IHU Méditerranée in Marseille following his test.

3:44 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Top US doctor: This "isn't an overreaction"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the new coronavirus guidelines from the White House may look like an overreaction — but insisted they're necessary.

"It will always seem that the best way to address it would be to be doing something that looks like it might be an overreaction. It isn't an overreaction. It's a reaction we feel is commensurate which is actually going on in reality," he said at a White House news conference.

Moments ago, President Trump unveiled recommendations on stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

White House officials are asking Americans should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10, urging them to stay away from bars restaurants and food courts and asking them to not travel if possible. 


3:51 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

White House recommends people avoid gatherings of more than 10 people


The White House has issued guidelines for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 days to slow the spread," many of the guidelines are broad and have been what the administration and health officials have been saying from the start of the outbreak. 

Included in the guidelines:

  • People should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10
  • People should stay away from bars restaurants and food courts, and to not travel if possible. 

The guidelines also say states that have seen community spread should close bars, restaurants and other public places, though again, that is not a mandate. Several cities including Philadelphia and San Francisco, and entire states including Maryland have already issued the order for bars and restaurants to close as soon as this evening.