How coronavirus is upending corporate America


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:

A leaked presentation reveals the document US hospitals are using to prepare for a major coronavirus outbreak. It estimates 96 million US coronavirus cases and 480,000 deaths.

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:

‘Crazy hours, short nights’: The inside story of how a buzzy biotech upstart developed a potential coronavirus vaccine in record time

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:

The US is sprinting to develop a coronavirus vaccine or treatment. Here’s how 9 top drugmakers are racing to tackle an outbreak that’s spreading around the world.

(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.

Jamie Dimon

Foto: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Source: Gretchen Ertl/AP

How Wall Street is responding

In New York, the finance team had all the news on how Wall Street is responding:

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:

Inside Wall Street’s mad dash to keep up with a surge in mortgage demand that’s one bright spot after an emergency Fed rate cut

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:

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had emergency heart surgery as markets were crashing and coronavirus was spreading. Insiders told us exactly what happened in the 48 hours after he rushed to the hospital.

tokyo olympics mask 1

Foto: Source: Jae C. Hong/AP Images

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:

Coronavirus has threatened to cancel the Tokyo Olympics – here’s why the fallout could be terrible for the TV business

How to navigate the market mayhem

Our investing team had a bunch of stories on how to navigate the coronavirus induced sell-off.

— Matt


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