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Pandemic?

The US braces for a coronavirus outbreak

Tonight's Sentences was written by Cameron Peters.


TOP NEWSCommunity spread of the coronavirus may already have occurred in the US


The US is bracing for an outbreak of coronavirus after an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday that it’s not a question of if, but when community spread of the disease will occur. [CBS News]

On Wednesday, the first known instance of possible community spread was reported in Northern California. The patient was hospitalized at the UC Davis Medical Center last week, but wasn’t tested for the virus until Sunday. [LA Times / Soumya Karlamangla and Jaclyn Cosgrove]

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that at least 28 people in the state have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 8,000 are being monitored. [Twitter / Capitol Alert]

Stock markets in the US have tumbled dramatically in response to outbreak news: As of Thursday, the S&P 500 had suffered its worst calendar-week decline since October 2008. Global markets have also plummeted, raising fears of an economic recession. [Washington Post / Rachel Siegel and Thomas Heath]

The White House announced on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the coronavirus response. Pence has tapped US ambassador Debbie Birx, who also leads global anti-HIV and AIDS efforts, to take on a “czar-like” role in combating the pandemic. [Politico / Quint Forgey]

Congress is currently debating emergency funding for the coronavirus response and is reportedly close to achieving a bipartisan agreement. The White House originally requested $2.5 billion in funding; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed $8.5 billion. [NPR / Claudia Grisales]

Vox’s Kelsey Piper writes that, so far, the government response to the coronavirus has been alarmingly disorganized. As the outbreak gets worse, that could become an even bigger problem. [Vox / Kelsey Piper]

CNN also advises that the coronavirus could cause school closures in the US and that people might be encouraged to work from home. Americans should also stay informed — misinformation around the coronavirus has already been a problem. [CNN / Jacqueline Howard]


Globally, 47 countries are now reporting cases of the coronavirus; many governments, including those of Japan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, are beginning to take more drastic measures to contain the virus’s spread. [New York Times]

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