COVID-19

United States officials are responding to the first case of coronavirus

Andy Uhler Jan 22, 2020
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A woman wears a mask on the first day of screenings for coronavirus of travelers from Wuhan, China. David McNew/Getty Images
COVID-19

United States officials are responding to the first case of coronavirus

Andy Uhler Jan 22, 2020
A woman wears a mask on the first day of screenings for coronavirus of travelers from Wuhan, China. David McNew/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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A man in Washington state has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the first case confirmed in the United States of the potentially deadly virus discovered in China last month. It’s killed at least six people there and sickened hundreds more.

The hospitalized U.S. resident flew to Washington last week. That was before federal health officials began screening travelers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan at international airports. Screening is often the first containment measure offered by the Centers for Disease Control.

“What CDC is doing is pretty much all we can do, now,” said Ogbonnaya Omenka, assistant professor of health sciences at Butler University. He said that while it’s still early, this virus doesn’t seem to be spreading quickly from person to person. 

Emily Martin, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, said the CDC has a budget for when a new sickness emerges.

“So there’s a pot of money that’s kind of reserved and ready to go anytime there’s a new situation,” she said, adding that it’s local healthcare systems that feel the pinch once a case is identified in a given region.

“You get this rush of patients coming to clinics and hospitals and that’s where there’s a big economic impact,” she said.

Shares in pharmaceutical firms and mask makers in China have surged this week because of the outbreak

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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