Seemingly hopeful news came out of New York Monday, which could be nearing its apex of the novel coronavirus crisis, while markets opened higher to start a week that could see other metro areas surge in cases and deaths.
Globally, coronavirus cases rose past 1.3 million, with more than 70,000 deaths reported stemming from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. In the U.S., roughly 350,000 cases were reported with more than 10,000 deaths — a new grim milestone for the country.
As of Monday, New York state had recorded a total of more than 130,000 cases and more than 4,700 deaths, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo said it is likely that the state is reaching a sustained plateau, with day-over-day deaths staying basically flat for two days, going from 599 on Sunday to 594 on Monday. But that does not mean restrictions will lift any time soon.
“Plateau or no plateau, we have to extend that New York pause. We have to continue social distancing ... until April 29,” Cuomo said.
“I know what it does to the economy, but as I said from day one, I’m not going to choose between public health and the economy.”
“Now is not the time to be lax,” Cuomo said, citing photos of parks full of activity over the weekend.
Over the weekend, U.S. Surgeon General Vice General Jerome Adams said the country should prepare for “our Pearl Harbor moment,” emphasizing the message from the White House coronavirus task force that this week would see surges in major metros like Chicago, Detroit, and Louisiana.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines recommending Americans wear cloth face covers when they have to go out into public — and includes methods for how to make them at home.
At a recent White House task force briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx cautioned that wearing masks in public should not give people a “false sense of security” and instead should be considered an addition to guidelines for social distancing.
Markets were largely in the green Monday as more promising news emerges about the virus. Spain and Italy have recorded a slowdown, offering some hope to the U.S., which has already seen a reduction on the West Coast.
Morgan Stanley analysts including Michael J. Wilson said in a note Monday that the outlook for 2020 remains concerning, with a decline of up to 20% in earnings expected and guidance withdrawals increasing. But a separate note from Morgan Stanley said the stimulus package could be excessive.
“There are literally no governors on the amount of monetary or fiscal stimulus that will be used in this fight. As evidence, our economists now estimate a US fiscal deficit of 18% this year, a level last seen during World War II,” according to the separate note Monday, also from Morgan Stanley’s Wilson.
“While the struggle against COVID-19 is a war, the amount of money being thrown at this enemy may be excessive, given that this conflict will be shorter and the outcome more certain — we will win.”
Previously, Moderna (MRNA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) have both announced candidates, with Moderna being the first to reach clinical trials. Inovio and Moderna both received funding from CEPI, a European non-profit, and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The three major indices climbed roughly 5% each Monday.