U.S. death toll climbs to 14

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco
The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco on Feb. 11.Scott Strazzante / AP file

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The coronavirus grew more deadly in the U.S., with the death toll climbing to 14 on Friday. More than 225 cases have been confirmed across the country.

Congressional leaders have agreed on an $8 billion emergency funding package that is headed to the House.

Lawmakers across the country are cracking down on scam coronavirus claims and excessive pricing of consumer medical supplies.

But investors are reacting to fears that the spread of coronavirus will disrupt the global economy, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 950 points at the closing bell.

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Apple rejects coronavirus apps that aren't from health organizations

Apple is preventing developers from uploading apps related to the coronavirus outbreak that are not from governments or health professionals, according to CNBC.

The move comes as many tech companies are working to prevent their platforms from being used to spread misinformation about the new coronavirus.

Search results on Apple's app platform show little in the way of obvious spam, though independent developers said Apple's strict rules could reduce availability of software that would help peopel track the outbreak, according to CNBC's Kif Leswing.

 

Precautionary measures in Bangkok

People walk through a 'sanitizing gate' spraying disinfectants against coronavirus before entering into a shopping mall in Bangkok, on March 6, 2020.Jorge Silva / Reuters

Despite robust jobs report, Dow falls 700 points as traders stay laser-focused on coronavirus

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by around 700 points at the opening bell, despite the release of a robust monthly jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The economy gained 273,000 jobs in February, well above economist predictions, with the unemployment rate falling slightly to 3.5 percent. 

Markets barely blinked Friday morning, with traders continuing to focus on how the viral outbreak could hammer the economy as companies downgrade their financial forecasts for 2020, issue travel restriction policies for their employees, and test out remote work contingency plans.

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Global coronavirus cases reach 100,000

More than 100,000 people have been confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus as of Friday morning, a little more than two months since the outbreak began in China.

Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking instances of the virus, said that 100,330 people had been infected as of 9 a.m. ET, 80,556 of whom were in Mainland China.

The news agency Reuters also reported the 100,000 mark had been passed, citing its own tally.

Of the total, 55,694 people made a recovery and 3,408 people died, suggesting a mortality rate of around 3 percent. Although when so-far unreported cases are taken into account, the death rate may be much lower.

There have been 14 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. so far, 13 in Washington State and one in California.

Trump signs $8.3B emergency bill to fight coronavirus

President Donald Trump on Friday morning signed the $8.3 billion emergency spending package to combat the coronavirus.

“We’re signing the 8.3 billion. I asked for 2.5 and I got 8.3, and I’ll take it,“ Trump said. “We’re doing well, but it’s an unforeseen problem,” he added.

The Senate passed the legislation in a 96-1 vote Thursday, a day after the House quickly and overwhelmingly passed it in a 415-2 vote.

Two private schools in Manhattan closed Friday

Two private schools in New York City — The Spence School and Collegiate School — will be closed on Friday as concerns grow over the virus in the city.

On its website, the all-girls Spence School’s said it closed on Friday “for a comprehensive sanitization of the entire campus.” Collegiate School confirmed it would also be closed on its website, although it did not state a reason.

NBC News has approached both schools for comment.

This comes a day after Westchester County closed a string of schools due to the outbreak.

There are currently 22 reported coronavirus cases in New York state.

In China, coronavirus rumors — and misinformation — swirl unchecked

The new coronavirus has presented perhaps the biggest challenge to the Chinese government in a generation, posing a test not seen before by its strongman president, Xi Jinping.

Now it appears Chinese officials are trying to change the narrative.

The exact origin of the virus — which has sickened close to 100,000 people worldwide and killed close to 3,500 as of Friday — has not been confirmed. But it is believed to have been transferred to humans at a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pathogen first broke out.

In recent weeks, however, Chinese officials have appeared eager to float the idea that the virus did not necessarily start in their country at all.

"No conclusion has been reached yet on the origin of the virus," Zhao Lijian, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told a briefing Thursday.

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NYPD investigating Asian subway rider being sprayed with Febreze

A passenger refused to sit next to an Asian man on New York's subway on Wednesday and sprayed him with a bottle of Febreze, the NYPD said. 

Officers received a call about an emotionally disturbed person on an N train on Wednesday around 9 a.m., NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison said in a press conference on Thursday. 

In a video of the incident tweeted by New York’s Metro Transit Authority, a man is seen shouting loudly at an Asian passenger to move away and not stand next to him. The man then reaches for an aerosol, which police identified as Febreze, and sprays the victim for over fifteen seconds.

New York's MTA said the harassment was coronavirus-related, tweeting that good hygiene could stop the spread of the virus, but racism would not. 

Officers from NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force were reviewing the video as part of the investigation, said Chief Harrison. 

Collision, one of the biggest conferences in tech, calls off in-person event

Collision, a large annual technology conference, said Friday it will cancel the in-person event, which was scheduled from June 22-25 in Toronto. 

Instead of bringing 33,000 people to the city for the conference, Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, the company that puts on Collision, said he hopes everyone will join an online “Collision From Home” experience.

“Crises like Covid-19 demand responsibility and creativity. We want to do our part, and we hope others will too,” Cosgrave said.  Ticket holders will be able to attend “Collision From Home” and will also be able to use their ticket at Collision 2021. Refunds are also available up to 30 days after attending the online conference.

Twelve cases on Nile cruise ship showed no symptoms

Twelve new cases of coronavirus confirmed on a Nile cruise ship are all asymptomatic, the Egyptian health ministry and the WHO said in a joint statement on Friday. This brings the total number of cases in Egypt to 15 so far.

The infected people are all Egyptian workers on the ship, which is heading to the southern city of Luxor, the statement said.

People wearing face masks in the window of a quarantined building housing the dormitory of the North-Western State Medical University named after I.I. Mechnikov in Saint Petersburg on Thursday.Olga Maltseva / AFP - Getty Images