There’s really only one business story in the world right now, and that’s coronavirus. Here’s what you need to now:
How hospitals are preparing
Hospitals are bracing for what could be millions of admissions nationwide as the virus spreads, Lydia Ramsey reports. She writes:
The American Hospital Association, which represents thousands of hospitals and health systems, hosted a webinar in February with its member hospitals and health systems. Business Insider obtained a copy of the slides.
The presentation, titled “What healthcare leaders need to know: Preparing for the COVID-19,” happened on February 26 with representatives from the National Ebola Training and Education Center.
The presentation contained an overview of the virus, projections and estimates of how much the virus might spread in the US, and proper ways to identify coronavirus patients, isolate them, and keep caregivers at the hospitals informed.
You can read the presentation here:
The search for a vaccine
The $10 billion biotech Moderna developed a potential coronavirus vaccine in record time, Andrew Dunn reports. Andrew sat down with Stephane Bancel, the company’s CEO, to talk about the company’s hopes of pioneering a new way of developing vaccines.
“The speed is one dimension, but the piece that excites me the most about this technology is we can do vaccines that cannot be done using traditional technology,” Bancel told Andrew.
Read Andrew’s full story here:
Moderna isn’t the only drugmaker looking to tackle the coronavirus, of course. As Andrew reports, pharma giants like Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are also in the early stages of developing potential vaccines. From his story:
There’s no assurance the vaccines will work. It will take at least 12 months to 18 months to determine if these experimental vaccines are safe and effective against this coronavirus.
That leaves a near-term need for treating those already sick. Other drug companies have been looking to repurpose antiviral drugs as a way to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Gilead Sciences is leading those efforts, with trials underway for an antiviral drug called remdesivir. The World Health Organization called it “the most promising candidate” to treat COVID-19. The first results are expected in April.
Read Andrew’s full story here:
(In related news, we recently announced a significant investment in our healthcare coverage, with the hire of Andrew, Kimberly Leonard, and Blake Dodge. You can read more about that here.)
How Big Tech is responding
Our reporters in San Francisco and Seattle led the way in reporting on Big Tech’s response to the coronavirus.
- Rob Price and Rosalie Chan reported that Apple is recommending employees at its Silicon Valley headquarters work from home due to coronavirus fears.
- Rob reported that Google is letting its tens of thousands of Bay Area employees work from home.
- Rob also reported that Facebook recommended that all of its Bay Area employees work from home, and that it’s banning all non-essential employee business travel globally and moving job interviews to video-conferencing.
- Ashley Stewart got a hold of the email Microsoft sent alerting employees about coronavirus cases within the company. She also reported that Microsoft quietly started offering free trials of its premium Teams chat app to “support public health and safety.”
- Julie Bort reported that Cisco is closing a building at its massive Silicon Valley campus after a worker was exposed to the coronavirus. You can read the email to employees here.
- Melia Russell reported that Sequoia Capital, the prestigious VC firm that famously warned startups about the 2008 financial crisis, published a memo urging startup founders to prepare for business disruptions.
- And Meghan Morris reported that hotly anticipated tech IPOs are now dealing with a brutal one-two punch of coronavirus fears and election uncertainty.
How Wall Street is responding
In New York, the finance team had all the news on how Wall Street is responding:
- Alex Morrell reported that Bank of America is splitting up its Wall Street traders and sending some to Stamford amid concern over coronavirus.
- Meghan reported that an employee at investment giant TIAA has contracted coronavirus, and the Manhattan WeWork office where they were working has been closed for cleaning.
- Dan DeFrancesco reported that Goldman Sachs switched a 400-person conference at the last minute to an audio-only webcast.
- Rebecca Ungarino reported that Morgan Stanley is moving about half of its Wall Street traders to its disaster-recovery site outside NYC meanwhile.
- Rebecca also reported that UBS is divvying up teams in Switzerland and having them switch who comes into the office as part of its coronavirus response.
As Alex reports, an emergency cut to the Fed’s benchmark rate in the face of the coronavirus outbreak has mortgage lenders prepping for a boom. From his story:
Mortgage rates were already hitting record lows — and then the Federal Reserve unleashed an emergency cut to its benchmark interest rate.
Now lenders, which have already been scrambling to keep up with heightened demand for home loans and refinancings spurred by falling rates, are bracing to absorb another crush of applications from prospective homebuyers.
Read his story:
And on Thursday, JPMorgan announced that CEO Jamie Dimon had had emergency heart surgery. Dakin Campbell has the inside story on how the bank’s senior leadership responded. You can read his story here:
What it means for Madison Avenue
Multiple sporting events around the world have already been cancelled in response to the coronavirus. As Patrick Coffee, Lauren Johnson, and Tanya Dua report:
Live events have been propping up the TV industry, but questions of the Olympics being canceled or delayed over the novel coronavirus serve as another big reminder of its vulnerability.
The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that the games would go on as planned from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, but Japan’s Olympics minister also said they could be postponed until later in the year.
The $70 billion TV advertising business has been in slow decline as people cut the cord and shift to online viewing, and if not for the Olympics and the 2020 election, TV advertising was expected to decline further in 2020, according to the forecaster Magna.
You can read their story here:
How to navigate the market mayhem
Our investing team had a bunch of stories on how to navigate the coronavirus induced sell-off.
- 8 of Wall Street’s top minds weigh in on whether the market will recover from coronavirus chaos — or if the global economy will be thrown into recession
- GOLDMAN SACHS: Hide out in these 15 stocks that are staying strong as coronavirus tanks global markets
- Morgan Stanley details its 4-part buying strategy designed to profit from a stock-market rebound after the recent coronavirus meltdown
- BANK OF AMERICA: These 5 metrics will determine the length and severity of a coronavirus-fueled recession
- JPMorgan is warning novice private-credit investors what a downturn means in the lending game, and it shows how quickly coronavirus could upend debt investing
How coronavirus is upending corporate America