Beltway Insider: Trump Coronavirus Czar, CDC Preparedness, Travel Bans, Bob Iger, Election 2020

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While President Trump has continued to downplay the significance of the Coronavirus, others have explained in the strongest language permitted the expectation that the virus, which has migrated across the globe, will eventually arrive in the United States.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, which tracked polls of likely or registered voters for the period ending February 23, 2020, increased by 0.8 percentage points to 44.1% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 51.p%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated bi-monthly.

Trump Names Vice President Pence as Coronavirus Czar

President Trump in order to control the information spread, and respond to the growing concern, appointed Vice President Mike Pence along with Health and Human services Secretary Alex Azar to lead the Presidents Coronavirus Task Force.


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The appointment of the vice president has drawn sharp criticism from democrats as his past record during Governor of Indiana, he initially blocked the implementation of the needle exchange program, which records show could have stopped more than 100 transmission of the deadly diseases.

"In 2015, when Pence was governor, a total of 190 people were infected with HIV, most of them in a Southern Indiana town of only 4,200 people. The Centers for Disease control and Prevention, which stepped in to help Indiana contain the spread, said, the situation was "the worst documented outbreak of HIV among IV users in the pas two decades,"' PBS.org reported.

More his overall health policy initiatives in Indiana are largely considered failures as he has relied heavily on his religious beliefs to guide his decisions, which certainly kept him from intervening in Indiana's HIV epidemic.

"The Task Force is led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and is coordinated through the National Security Council.  It is composed of subject matter experts from the White House and several United States Government agencies, and it includes some of the Nation's foremost experts on infectious diseases. The Task Force will lead the Administration's efforts to monitor, contain, and mitigate the spread of the virus, while ensuring that the American people have the most accurate and up-to-date health and travel information. The President's top priority is the health and welfare of the American people," the White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a released statement which can be read here.

Pandemic Fears Motivates Nations to Suspend Travel, Close Borders

In just over two months since the Coronavirus became a household concern, the pursuit of the truth and the origination point, or case 00001, has been the source of growing concern for many. Understanding that an animal trade market in Wuhan, China, has become known as the origin point still does nothing to inform the world on the exactness the details behind this mysterious and deadly contagion, more importantly how it spreads or of even greater significance how the population can fight the threat of exposure.

This worldwide pandemic, officials are 99% sure, originated from an ungloved worker in the animal trade market in Wuhan, China, who came in contact with Bat blood or urine and touched his face, even as casually as wiping hair out of his eyes with the back of his hand, and the infection which is obviously stratospherically contagious, became airborne.

From there the documentation indicates it moved quickly through China, as the volume of the populations would suggest, with many not knowing they were infected, as the virus is stealth, masking itself as a simple cold, elevated fever, and in pre-COVID-19 days, not really anything to worry about, in post COVID-19 days, those simple changes a slightly increased fever and the onset of what one would consider the common cold, are alarm and immediately require quarantine.

Globally 87,442* cases have been confirmed with nearly 3,000 deaths. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, the WHO's director-general said, "the growing number of cases and affected countries is clearly a concern."

The United States has now 472 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 with the outbreaks in seven states including California, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona and Illinois, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts.


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"The World Health Organization (WHO) raised the global COVID-19 risk to its highest level today, as cases surged in three hot spots outside China, which are quickly spreading the virus to other countries. At a media briefing today, WHO officials said the rapid spread of the virus doesn't meet the definition of a pandemic, which would imply every human will likely be exposed. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, the WHO's director-general, said 24 cases in 14 countries have been exported from Italy and 97 cases in 11 countries have been exported from Iran," reported the Center for Diseases Research and Policy.

*These numbers will be incorrect within 24 hours.

Nations Suspend Travel

The Saudi government has also imposed restrictions on any person entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from high impacted nations.

Expressing concern over the spread of the coronavirus, The Saudi Arabian government has forbidden international travelers to attend hajj, the annual five-day pilgrimage that Muslims from around the world make to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad.

"Saudi Arabia renews its support for all international measures to limit the spread of this virus, and urges its citizens to exercise caution before traveling to countries experiencing coronavirus outbreaks," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "We ask God Almighty to spare all humanity from all harm."

The Coronavirus, which has caused cancellation of large scale gatherings around the world,

At least 2.5 million foreign pilgrims would be traveling to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, this week for the hajj. The

Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced extraordinary measures over coronavirus fears and said it will block foreigners from traveling to Mecca and the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure at the center of the annual hajj pilgrimage, out of concern over the global spread of the coronavirus.

CDC Urges Preparedness

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention has issued a series of resources and guidelines for any person concerned with COVID-19. Follow the link below to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention website to take a personal inventory of items needed to address the possibility of a self-quarantine, which like the 72hour Emergency Kit, should contain all items wone would need in one's homes should they be home, sick, for an extended time frame, 14 to 21 days. Families should consider having a plan in place to have family members check ion by neighbors of others and pet supplies should be considered.

Persons Under Investigation (PUI), Clinical Care, Infection Control, Supply of Personal Protective Equipment, and Home Care.

Global Markets React to Coronavirus

The Dow Jones Stock Exchange suffered a blood bath as the world reacted to the scare of the coronavirus negating nearly a decade of gains, and by weeks end and fell to 2008 levels. The single day loss of 1,175 points was the third worst day in the history of trading.

Percentage loss, the day somewhat fared better, with records showing it was the 254th worst days since trading began in May of 1896. The Standard & Poor's Index also closed the week down 12%.

Bob Iger Hands over Reigns; Assumes Executive Board Position

Robert A. Iger, the driving force behind what could arguably become known as the Golden Age of the Walt Disney Company, in a surprise move passed on the day to day leadership of the company to his successor.

The move which had been the talk of speculation for at least the past five years, with each contract renewal simply postponing the inevitable. The surprise move passes on day-to-day operations to Bob Chapak, a twenty-seven-year Disney employee. Chapak for the last five years had been the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. This division merged in the 2018 restructuring into Walt Disney Parks, experiences, and Products of which he continued to helm.

At any other moment over the past five years, the move would have garnered business segments, and further speculation of a mysterious hidden agenda, that just hasn't been made public. Today, however, with the global health crisis migrating throughout the world, and the reverberations affecting all whom have global brands, the move appears more simply reputational.


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Iger built an enviable brand, with the acquisitions of PIXAR, MARVEL, Lucas Films, FOX Studios, and the subsidiaries, ESPEN and others, and the controlling interest in HULU, the quality of entertainment drove the stock to record highs. The Coronavirus, COVID-19, essentially toppled nearly a decade of gains with investors as stockholders watching their profits sink.

Disney stock under Iger's leadership climbed to towering heights including a record high of $151.48 in Q4 2019. The onset of current global health issues caused the entertainment stock to fall to $117.65 as of Friday, February 28, 2020.

The unknown variables associated with the Coronavirus could create a deeper fall. The other factors associated with the global health epidemic are yet to be felt. As all studios will curtail nearly all events scheduled for the Asian region.

The wait and see approach, while prudent, is simply an attempt to assist in maintaining calm both for those directly entrenched in the heavy hit regions, the corporation at large, stockholders, and on the wider bands those who look to Iger and others as trusted leadership.

Studios and others are left with limited choices in handling the outbreak. The closure of all three of Walt Disney Asian Theme Parks have already impacted stock prices. Closure of the Paris Theme Park is imminent as France has recently banned large gatherings. Walt Disney Company also operates a Cruise Line, which manages four ships. The revenue loss could be staggering.

Iger, who has been known to have long range vision, wouldn't have anticipated the outbreak of a global pandemic would cause the acquisition of HULU and the launch of DISNEY + to become so crucial, so quickly, to the brand.

For the upcoming 2020 summer tentpole films, across all studio brands, the possibility of scaling back total theatrical release, is very real. With the largest concentration of people in the world located in the 10/40 longitude latitude lines, the inability to roll out, premiere or launch any films in these regions, undermines the film entire entertainment industry.

For at least the remainder of 2020, any entity which provides services and is dependent on large scale audience participation, theme parks, cruise lines, box office attendance, should realize that Asia is out. Potentially, Italy and France, which have taken individual measures to combat the outbreak of the Coronavirus, could also fall under the European Union who could ban large scale gatherings across its entire membership in an order to curtail the possibility of further exposure to the deadly COVID-19.

The net loss across all silos could be staggering and could take years to return to the record highs.

With the unknown variables, of which no known algorithm can be put in play to determine the best-case scenario, and no known vaccine exists to combat the spread of COVID-19 the possibility of 2020 as a net loss is very real.

As exceptional a helmsman as Iger has been for the company, he has made it clear his choice is to concentrate on the creative and transfer the daily operations, with all these unknown issues, to capable hands which removes considerable pressure and protects his reputation as one of the companies finest executives in his history.

Election 2020 Steyer, Buttigieg Suspend Campaigns, Biden Wins South Carolina, Super Tuesday's Big Haul

Former Vice President Joe Biden staked his reputation on South Carolina and they came through in dramatic fashion winning 48.4% of the vote. With a landslide victory the former Vice-President pulled out a major victory heading into March 3, 2020 Super Tuesday.

His lackluster performance in the first three races left many to speculate if the former Vice President should bow out and allow the others to fight and wrangle their way to the nominations. He stuck to his strategy and it paid off. Biden secured the African American vote.


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Sanders came in a distant second at 19.9%, Tom Steyer, 3rd with 11.3% of the vote, Pete Buttigieg, 4th with 8.2 % of vote, Elizabeth Warren 5th, with 7.1% of the vote and Amy Klobuchar 6th with 3.2% of the vote.

14 States and America Samoa will hold Super Tuesday Primaries awarding 1,357 delegates.

"Pete Buttigieg told supporters he's ending his presidential campaign on Sunday, campaign sources confirmed to Fox News, in an abrupt and surprising pullout that further narrows the field of Democrats less than a month after he declared victory in the contested Iowa caucuses," Fox News reported.

Billionaire Tom Steyer also suspended his campaign, yesterday.

For more information on President Donald Trump www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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