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Apple Sales Will Miss; U.S. Cruisers Quarantined: Virus Update

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(Bloomberg) — A case study of a patient who died from the new coronavirus shows similarities with two prior deadly coronavirus outbreaks. Apple Inc. said it would miss its quarterly revenue target because of the virus.The U.S. evacuated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, including 14 who tested positive for the virus, and will quarantine more than 300 passengers. The U.S. is still figuring out what to do with American passengers on another cruise ship who disembarked in Cambodia, including one who tested positive.Beijing may delay a high-profile political meeting for the first time in decades because of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 71,000 and killed 1,775 globally. Key DevelopmentsChina death toll 1,770, up 105; mainland cases rise to 70,548Hubei adds 1,933 new cases, up from 1,843 a day earlierFour missed chances for China to contain outbreakFears of global contagion as 3,000 cruise passengers go homeClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the novel coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Apple to Miss Guidance Because of Virus (4:15 p.m. NY)Apple Inc. doesn’t expect to meet its revenue guidance for the quarter ending in March due to work slowdowns from the outbreak of coronavirus in China. The company said it anticipates global supply of the iPhone to be “temporarily constrained.”Read the full story here.Japan Cruisers Quarantined; Westerdam Passengers Loose (3:19 p.m. NY)More than 300 U.S. citizens evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have returned home to begin a 14-day quarantine on military bases and for treatment in hospitals.The repatriation ends a dramatic episode on the virus-struck ship, but came with a fresh complication: As the U.S. cruise passengers were on a bus heading for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Japanese test results showed that 14 had the virus. And a positive test from another cruise ship that disembarked passengers in Cambodia has raised concerns about further spread of the virus around the globe.Of the Japan evacuees, 171 will be held at Travis Air Force Base between San Francisco and Sacramento, with six people sent to a local hospital for treatment, said William Walters, a senior official with the State Department‘s Bureau of Medical Services.A further 144 passengers evacuated on a separate flight will be housed at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. Seven people on that flight were flown on to Omaha for treatment at the University of Nebraska.The newly diagnoses cases involved people who did not show any symptoms of the coronavirus but were diagnosed by Japanese lab tests, Walters said.The fate of hundreds of Americans coming off another cruise ship now docked in Cambodia is less clear. One of the passengers, an 83-year-old woman, was diagnosed with the virus while passing through Malaysia, and is being held in isolation there. Roughly 300 U.S. citizens who were on the Westerdam have left Cambodia, according to the State Department. But 92 remain on the ship and a further 260 are staying in hotels in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.Walter said the U.S. government was tracking those citizens but had not yet made a decision on whether to send special flights to bring them home. Health officials across the world have said that catching and isolating cases of the virus before it spreads is crucial to stopping it.Damage Cause by Virus Resembles SARS, MERS (2 p.m. NY)Doctors studying a 50-year-old man who died in China last month from the new coronavirus found that the disease caused lung damage reminiscent of two prior coronavirus-related outbreaks, SARS and MERS.Read the full story here.Cruise Travel Risks Remain ‘Manageable’ Despite Virus, WHO Says: (12 p.m. NY)Cruise ship travel remains a “manageable risk” for now, and it doesn’t make sense to recommend a ban on it, the World Health Organization said, even as the return home of 3,000 travelers from two coronavirus-stricken cruise ships fuels fears of further contagion.“People say we should steer clear of cruise ships, or steer clear of airports or steer clear of certain ethnic groups,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a press briefing Monday at the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “We have to be really careful” of such suggestions. “We need an approach to managing risk that allows us to continue to operate as a society.”Hong Kong Virus Stress Worsens With Maids, Nannies Stuck Abroad: (11:05 a.m. NY)The Philippine ban on travel to Hong Kong is taking its toll on migrant workers, mostly women, who are part of Hong Kong’s domestic labor force. In a survey of more than 900 Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong by placement agency HelperChoice, almost half said they were affected by the travel ban or knew someone who was.Virus Outbreak Boosts Tissue Paper Prospects in China (10:30 a.m. NY)As the outbreak ripples through China’s economy, one industry seems to be thriving. Shares of tissue paper maker Vinda International Holdings have surged 40% this year even as the main Hong Kong index is little changed. The rally may have legs. Top pulp exporter Suzano SA expects growth in China’s tissue market to accelerate amid shifts in hygiene habits.El Al CEO Sees Hard Days Ahead for Israeli Airline: (9 a.m. NY)El Al Israel Airlines is facing difficulties because of the spread of the coronavirus and may be forced to make some “painful decisions,” CEO Gonen Usishkin said in a letter to staff, without specifying what that may entail.A decision by Israel’s Health Ministry on Sunday to send travelers returning from Thailand into home quarantine for 14 days has cut demand for this destination, and the company is allowing customers to change or cancel tickets, the CEO said. Last week, the carrier suspended flights to Hong Kong until March 20 and flights to Beijing until April 24.Slump in Global Goods Trade Likely to Deepen: WTO (7:30 a.m. NY)The already slumping state of global goods trade may get even worse with coronavirus, the World Trade Organization warned.The Geneva-based body said its merchandise trade barometer fell to 95.5 from 96.6 in November. That’s before factoring in the effects of China’s health crisis on international commerce.“The slow start could be dampened further by global health threats and other recent developments in the first few months of the year,” the WTO said. In the months ahead, “every component of the Goods Trade Barometer will be influenced by the economic impact of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of efforts to treat and contain the disease.”China Sees Positive Trend in Coronavirus Epidemic: CCTV (7 a.m. NY)China’s anti-virus efforts have led to a positive trend for the epidemic nationwide, according to China Central Television, which cited Premier Li Keqiang’s comments at a meeting. The spread of coronavirus has weakened, and China has avoided a wider outbreak through all-out control, Li was quoted as saying.Top policymakers are seeking to balance the anti-virus fight with shoring up the economy, which has been running at just 40% to 50% capacity in the last week, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.Bundesbank Warns of Hit to German Exporters (6 a.m. NY)The central bank called the outbreak a “cyclical downside risk” and said a temporary decline in overall Chinese demand could damp German export activity. “Moreover, some global value chains could be impaired by security measures put in place,” the Bundesbank said in a report.Outside the European Union, China is second only to the U.S. in importance to German companies, with close to $108 billion of sales a year. The European Commission last week called the epidemic a “key downside risk” to its forecasts, while European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane said the region’s economy could experience a “pretty serious short-term hit.”China’s Economy Seen Growing Slowest Since 1990 (6:52 p.m. HK)The coronavirus outbreak and China’s efforts to stop the spread mean the economy will grow slower this quarter than first thought — the median forecast now is for growth to be the slowest in 30 years.China’s gross domestic product will grow 4% in the first quarter, according to the median of 18 forecasts since Jan. 31. That’s down from 5.9% in the last survey on Jan. 22 and the lowest level since 1990.Chinese City to Start Subsidizing Car Purchases (5:57 p.m. HK)The southern Chinese city of Foshan will start providing rebates for car purchases starting March 1. Consumers who trade in old models will be entitled to 3,000 yuan ($430) of subsidies while buyers who opt for new cars are entitled to 2,000 yuan per vehicle.President Xi Jinping has urged local governments to help boost auto sales, according to a speech by him carried on Qiushi Journal, the Communist Party’s top publication on Saturday.Singapore Issues Stricter Rules for China Returnees (5:34 p.m. HK)Singapore residents or long-term pass holders returning from mainland China must stay in their homes at all times for 14 days and closely monitor their own health, under stricter guidelines issued today.Macau Casinos Allowed to Reopen (5:30 p.m. HK)Casinos in the world’s biggest gambling hub will be able to resume operations on Thursday, following an unprecedented closure for 15 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance in the Chinese territory of Macau, said casinos can reopen Feb. 20, though it will be conditional based on criteria that he didn’t specify.Macau closed casinos for a 15-day period that began Feb. 5, in the longest shutdown ever for the world’s biggest gambling hub. MGM said it’s losing $1.5 million a day in Macau, while Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it is losing about $2.5 million a day.Earlier, Sands China President Wilfred Wong told Cable TV he expects few customers when casinos first re-open, and believes it will take two-to-three months before business can return to normal.China May Delay Annual CPPCC Meeting: CCTV (5:09 p.m. HK)Beijing is studying a proposal to delay the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s political advisory body, state-run China Central Television reported.This follows an official Xinhua report that said China is considering delaying the annual session of the National People’s Congress, its most high-profile annual political meeting, for the first time in decades. The two meetings were originally scheduled to start early March.Japan Says 99 New Infections From Cruise Ship (5:05 p.m. HK)Japan said 99 more people from the Diamond Princess cruise tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 454.A pair of aircraft chartered by the U.S. State Department took off early Monday to bring home Americans from the ship. Australia and Hong Kong will also use chartered flights to evacuate citizens and permanent residents who have been stranded on the ship.Cathay Pacific Warns on Results (4:45 p.m. HK)First-half financial results will be “significantly down” from a year earlier, Cathay Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement. Cathay is particularly exposed to the virus because sales from Hong Kong and China account for about half of its total revenue.Separately, China’s three largest airlines reported declines in January passenger traffic because of the coronavirus outbreak, with the shortfalls likely to deepen this month as the epidemic continues to disrupt travel for millions of people. Airlines began suspending flights from about Jan. 23 after the government began locking down Wuhan and other Chinese cities.U.S. Factories in China Don’t Have Enough Staff (3:57 p.m. HK)Most U.S. factories in China’s manufacturing hub around Shanghai will be back at work this week, but the “severe” shortage of workers due to the coronavirus will hit production and global supply chains, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.While about 90% of the 109 U.S. manufacturers in the Yangtze River delta expect to resume production this week, 78% of them said they don’t have sufficient staff to run at full speed, according to a survey by AmCham.Beijing Auto Show Delayed (3:48 p.m. HK)China’s annual auto show, scheduled to be held in Beijing in April, will be pushed back because of the coronavirus outbreak. The new dates will be announced later, the organizer said in a statement on Monday.Taiwan Scours Taxi Driver’s Data to Trace Virus Path (12:44 p.m. HK)Health authorities in Taiwan are scouring travel histories, phone records and security camera footage in an effort to map out everyone who came into contact with a taxi driver who became Taiwan’s first confirmed death from the coronavirus.The victim, a man in his 60s from central Taiwan who died Saturday, had not recently traveled overseas and had no recorded contact with any of the 19 other people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Taiwan, according to a statement from Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control.Singapore, Thailand Cuts Growth Outlooks (12:32 p.m. HK)Singapore and Thailand downgraded their forecasts for economic growth this year as the coronavirus outbreak hits tourism and trade.Singapore’s Ministry of Trade & Industry projected growth in a range of -0.5% to 1.5% in 2020, compared with a previous estimate of 0.5% to 2.5%. The city state, which has more than 70 cases of virus infections, is losing as many as 20,000 tourists a day amid travel curbs.Growth in Thailand is seen in a range of 1.5%-2.5% this year, down from a previous projection of 2.7%-3.7%, the National Economic and Social Development Council said.Bridgewater, Dalio Donate $10 Million for Virus Fight (12:27 p.m. HK)Billionaire Ray Dalio’s family charity and his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates LP are donating $10 million to help support China’s coronavirus relief efforts. The money will go to Peking University First Hospital, Union Hospital for Clinical Care and three medical teams led by academics in Wuhan, the world’s largest hedge fund said in an emailed statement Monday.Nintendo Is Likely to Suffer Global Switch Shortages (12:21 p.m. HK)Nintendo Co. is likely to struggle to supply sufficient Switch consoles to its U.S. and European markets as soon as April due to a production bottleneck caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to people with knowledge of the company’s supply chain.China Stocks Rebound From Sell-off (10:13 a.m. HK)China’s stock benchmark recouped all its losses from a record $720 billion sell-off earlier this month, a sign that investor confidence is improving after policy makers acted to ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.China’s government has pumped cash into the financial system, trimmed money-market rates and offered targeted tax cuts. Beijing will also allow local governments to sell another 848 billion yuan ($121 billion) of debt before March, as authorities seek to offset the economic shock of the coronavirus.Coronavirus Cases Top 70,000 (9:13 a.m. HK)China reported 2,048 additional coronavirus cases by the end of Feb. 16, bringing the total case count to 70,548, according to a statement from National Health Commission.China’s Hubei province reported 1,933 additional confirmed cases. While that’s slightly higher than a day earlier, it’s in line with a lower trend over the past several days. The province announced a stunning 15,000 new cases on Thursday after revising its method for counting infections.The death toll in China increased by 105 to 1,770. More than 10,000 patients have been discharged so far. There are now five fatalities outside of mainland China, after France and Taiwan reported deaths over the weekend.\–With assistance from Abeer Abu Omar, Ryan Beene, Dong Lyu, Jing Jin, Cindy Wang, K. Oanh Ha, Isabel Reynolds, Tony Czuczka, April Ma, Takashi Mochizuki, Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Siraphob Thanthong-Knight, Natalie Lung, Jason Scott, Shawn Donnan and Vince Golle.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Steve Geimann in Washington at sgeimann@bloomberg.net;Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Drew Armstrong in New York at darmstrong17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, ;Adveith Nair at anair29@bloomberg.net, Jeff Sutherland, Anne PollakFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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Europe Makes Tentative Gains in Containing Coronavirus Spread

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(Bloomberg) — New coronavirus infections slowed in Spain and decreased marginally for the second day in Italy, while intensive-care admissions declined in France, tentative signs that the pandemic may be easing in Europe.Austria could become one of the first countries in the region to loosen restrictions that have shut down much of public life. Over the weekend, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government will review data and consider a plan to gradually restart the economy, the Austrian leader told parliament in Vienna on Friday.“Let’s not jump to conclusions because there are some positive signals,” Kurz told lawmakers. “I can promise you, if the numbers support it, we’ll do what we can to return to normality step by step.”Spain — the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe alongside Italy — reported that new fatalities from the virus declined on Friday for the first time in four days.In another positive development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — Europe’s longest-serving leader — left her precautionary quarantine.Despite pockets of improvement, death tolls in Italy, Spain, France and Germany surpassed 31,000, giving governments little leeway to unwind lockdown measures. The four countries account for almost 60% of global fatalities and more than a third of the world’s 1 million confirmed cases.After ending 12 days in voluntary self-isolation in Berlin, Merkel will continue to observe social-distancing standards, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.The chancellor, who this week prolonged a nationwide lockdown until April 19, addressed the public Friday from the chancellery in Berlin for the first time since the quarantine, making a plea to stay home and avoid social contact through the Easter holiday.Even though a slight slowing of the spread of the disease offers “some hope,” she said it was far too early to set a target date for easing restrictions.Europe’s longest-serving leader took center stage in Germany’s fight against the virus with a rare televised address to the nation on March 18, in which she called the pandemic the country’s gravest challenge since World War II.Merkel’s brush with the virus parallels that of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been working from self-isolation at home since March 12 after his wife contracted the illness. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde also isolated herself temporarily last month following exposure to an infected person. And U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been quarantined for over a week after testing positive for the virus.Lockdown ReviewKurz, who wore a face mask before and after his speech, urged Austrians to persevere with measures to limit contact between people and asked them to refrain from celebrating the Easter holiday with large gatherings of families and friends. His government will review virus statistics with epidemiology experts on Sunday and present its plans on Monday.Growth in new infections in Austria have decreased to less than 5% per day. The number of daily fatalities has fallen for four straight days this week.Spain’s Health Ministry on Friday reported 932 new deaths and 7,472 cases over the latest 24-hour period, both smaller gains than the previous day. The dip in the daily figures could lead to less pressure on overwhelmed hospitals. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government is looking to extend the current lockdown for another two weeks beyond April 11, Spanish media reported.Italy reported 4,585 new infections, while there were 766 fatalities compared with 760 in the previous 24-hour period, civil protection authorities said at their daily news conference in Rome.The pace of both new deaths and new infections has flattened out over past days, even as the containment measures shuttering all non-essential activities and banning most movement take a heavy toll on the economy. In total, the country had 119,827 cases and 14,681 deaths.In efforts to address the economic fallout of the crisis, Germany is planning to set up an extra 300 billion-euro ($324 billlion) aid program to help small- and medium-sized companies, and Switzerland doubled the amount of state credit guarantees for businesses to 40 billion francs ($41 billion).Despite Merkel returning to work, Germany’s fight against the outbreak suffered a setback. Fatalities and confirmed cases rose by more than the previous day on Friday, with total deaths climbing past 1,000. The mortality rate is probably underestimated because of insufficient testing, according to Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute.The country — which has 84,794 infections, the third-most in Europe — may still need additional intensive-care space, even after boosting capacity by more than 40% since the crisis began, the head of Germany’s public health authority said.“My personal appraisal is that it will not be enough,” Wieler said at a press briefing. “I would be happy to be wrong.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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Mosques Stay Open in Pakistan Even as Coronavirus Death Toll Rises

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(ISLAMABAD) — Mosques were allowed to remain open in Pakistan on Friday, when Muslims gather for weekly prayers, even as the coronavirus pandemic spread and much of the country had shut down.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is relying on restricting the size of congregations attending mosques and advice to stay at home from religious groups like the country’s Islamic Ideology Council.

However, some provinces have issued their own lockdown orders to prevent Muslims from gathering for Friday prayers. In southern Sindh province, a complete lockdown is being enforced from noon until 3 p.m., the time when the faithful gather for prayers. Anyone found on the streets will be arrested, according to the provincial local government minister in a statement.

In eastern Punjab province, where 60% of Pakistan’s 220 million people live, checkpoints have been set up in major cities stopping people from congregating.

Still, mosques remain open in Pakistan, even as they have been shut down across much of the Middle East and elsewhere. The Middle East has confirmed over 85,000 cases of the virus and over 3,700 deaths, most of them in Iran.

Iran state TV reported Friday the virus killed another 134 people, pushing the country’s death toll to nearly 3,300 amid more than 53,000 confirmed cases. Iran’s parliament speaker is among those who have contracted the disease.

Pakistan, with 2,450 confirmed cases and 35 deaths, has been sharply criticized for moving too slow to curb large gatherings, including a gathering of tens of thousands of Muslims from several Islamic countries in March. The gathering of Tableeghi Jamaat missionaries is blamed for several outbreaks of the new virus elsewhere in the world. The first confirmed cases that emerged in Gaza were traced to the gathering.

Entire neighborhoods, including outside the capital Islamabad, have been shut down because clerics who had attended the gathering tested positive for the virus.

Despite this, some religious leaders in Pakistan still urge the faithful to defy restrictions and gather at mosques.

Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, head of a committee tasked with spotting the new moon in Pakistan marking the beginning of holy months such as Ramadan, went on television telling people their faith would protect them and they should attend the mosque.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia that can be fatal.





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Trump Campaign Bets on Approval Rating Boost at Mercy of Virus

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(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings are delivering the highest approval ratings of his presidency, but that bump is at risk of fading before the November election — especially as deaths mount and scrutiny of the government response intensifies.Trump’s average job approval rating hit an all-time high on Wednesday at 47.7%, according to RealClearPolitics. That’s a 3.6-point jump from 10 days ago and surpasses the previous record set in his first week in office.But as the pandemic progresses along with the economic fallout that accompanies it, Trump is facing the greatest crisis of his presidency just seven months before the general election.The White House has positioned Trump as a “wartime” president fighting an invisible enemy he said was introduced by China. He was made visible daily at the podium in lieu of the rallies that have sustained him politically.In addition to canceling his rallies, Trump’s campaign has had to reconsider practically every strategy it was pursuing, including switching to a digital and advertising focus and not opening, at least for now, planned campaign offices in key states.The briefings have emerged as a sober replacement for the rallies, putting Trump on the television screens of millions of households every day, with the presidential seal behind him.Early in the coronavirus outbreak, polling showed that Trump’s decision to make Vice President Mike Pence the public face of the government’s response was a mistake, because it gave the appearance that the president had delegated the weighty responsibility to a subordinate, one Republican strategist said.Voters perceived Trump as annoyed that he had to deal with the crisis, the adviser said. In response to open-ended questions from pollsters, they wondered how much the president really cared about the pandemic.Trump has long defied the political odds, succeeding where other politicians might have failed, so even weeks of grim news on the virus might not derail him, especially as his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is having trouble breaking into the news cycle as the nation worries about the pandemic.Trump’s handling of the crisis reached its lowest level the week of March 9, after a week of no briefings and mounting deaths. The White House decided Trump needed to speak every day, and he’s appeared at a briefing 18 out of 20 days since.Unimpressive BumpPollsters and political scientists have observed a “rally around the leader” effect for decades, with popular approval of a president going up in times of crisis. But Trump’s isn’t as impressive as some of his predecessors.“Every president gets a bump in a crisis. The bump he’s getting is not that big,” said B. Dan Wood, a political science professor at Texas A&M University.Just as important as the size of the bump is the duration, because crisis-driven job approval numbers fade over time.“The longer this goes on, the more his approval rating remains relatively high for him, the more likely that will help him on Election Day,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster.But he said it’s impossible to know how long the higher numbers will last: “The thing is we can’t predict the future. It’s totally unprecedented.”President Jimmy Carter saw a 16-week spike in the early days of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and President George H.W. Bush’s lasted 41 weeks during and after the 1991 Gulf War. Both went on to lose re-election over economic issues.​​Trump risks the same fate, with the American economy faltering as non-essential businesses close and unemployment spikes.For now, the polling numbers are driving Trump’s response to the outbreak, with press briefings lasting as long as two hours nearly every day. White House officials see a direct link between the two.“I attribute it to the fact that he gets out there every day and tells people here’s what happened today,” said Kellyanne Conway, a former Republican pollster who’s now counselor to the president. “I’ve had this conversation directly with the president.”The virus has also forced Trump to adapt his messaging. He’s taken to referring to himself as a “wartime” president, calling Covid-19 an “invisible enemy.”And though Trump still takes jabs at political enemies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden, he’s increasingly tried to highlight bipartisan efforts to combat the coronavirus — something his internal polling shows resonates with voters.Airing GrudgesAnd now, the briefings themselves have become a partisan flashpoint. Trump has used them at times to attack journalists, nurse grudges with governors and spread misinformation, leading some cable networks to break away from live coverage.“The radical left-wing MOB is calling for the Lamestream media to STOP airing President Trump’s daily press conferences which provide an update on the invisible enemy threatening our nation,” a fund-raising email from the Trump campaign charged on Wednesday. “Their reasoning is that the president’s approval ratings have skyrocketed to an all-time high and they are worried about the magnitude of his reach to the American people. It’s madness.”The rallies Trump enjoys were more than just a way to excite his core supporters. They were a reservoir of voter data, which campaign manager Brad Parscale typically outlined on Twitter: race, political party, location and voting history.“The Trump campaign has a significant advantage because of our early and ongoing investment in data and technological infrastructure that began in 2015,” said Ali Pardo, a campaign spokeswoman.Without that data, Trump and Republicans have to rely even more on social media like Facebook Inc., the Republican adviser said.On March 21, dubbed its National Day of Action, the campaign’s supporters made 1.5 million calls from their homes, Pardo said. On those calls they directed people to the government’s coronavirus website, she said.But physical outreach and courting of voter blocs has been hampered. Trump planned to aggressively court African-American voters in battleground states, with plans to open storefront offices in Miami, Orlando, and Philadelphia, among other cities. Those openings have been postponed, according to senior campaign officials.Instead, the campaign is scheduling conference calls with minority voters, particularly in states like Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona.And it will take advantage of people being at home to see advertising on television and online.America First Action Super PAC, Trump’s official super political action committee, said Wednesday that it planned to spend $10 million on advertisements in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, focused on Biden.One Republican strategist, David Winston, pointed out that whatever efforts are going on now, voters will make their decisions in seven months.It’s not certain that the current approval ratings, amid the coronavirus pandemic, will translate into November votes, Winston said, adding that in times of crisis, Americans tend to coalesce behind national leaders. Judgments on the handling of the crisis — and whether it warrants another term — come later.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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