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Report On Response Plans, Closures, Market Drops, And Testing Related To The New Coronavirus; Report On The Rescue Of Rockstar Freddy

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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: There is nothing awesome about corona virus but there is about Fridays and we're grateful we can spend this Friday in our studio. If travel and work restrictions keep our team out of the studio in the days ahead we still plan to produce our show. We'll post it on our You

Tube channel so please subscribe to that to get those updates no matter where you watch the show. U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a speech from the Oval Office this week. His goal was to discuss what the United States government was doing to protect Americans from the new corona virus and to reassure them it would eventually pass.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have been in frequent contact with our allies and we are marshaling the full power of the Federal government and the private sector to protect the American people. This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history. I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: So what are some key parts of that effort? The president says with some exceptions travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for a month. Health industry executives have agreed to make corona virus treatments cheaper and easier to get. Tax relief is ahead for some businesses that are losing revenue because of the pandemic. The president says no nation is more prepared or resilient than the United States but some Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill were questioning that preparedness yesterday. One issue they had was with corona virus testing.

They say it's not as widely available in America as it is in some other countries like South Korea and that that's a problem.

As the disease spreads, its effects are spreading as well. The U.S. Capitol is now closed to visitors. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has closed. The National Basketball League has suspended all of its games. The National Hockey League announced the same thing yesterday. Major

League Baseball has suspended spring training. March Madness has been canceled. Disneyland is closed. Around the world there have been cancellations and closures like these sometimes including country's borders and international stock markets have seen dramatic swings and losses.

Because of this weeks drops in U.S. stocks, Wall Street is now said to be in bear market territory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we talk about being in a bear market.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are panicking. (ph)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The market is not functioning properly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly is a bear market? It's when stocks drop 20 percent from recent highs. When we talk about the overall stock market,

we usually look at a broad index like the S&P 500 but individual stocks or commodities can also fall into a bear market if they decline 20 percent.

Though a bear market is different from a correction. That's a 10 percent decline. So if the S&P falls into a bear market, it's already had a correction and then fallen another 10 percent.

Since World War II there have been 13 bear markets for the S&P 500. A bear market doesn't always signal a severe economic downturn. In the last

40 years, four bear markets have occurred without a recession. But the drops that coincide with recessions tend to be worse. The good news is bear markets don't tend to last as long as bull markets. The average lasted 362 days and declined nearly 32 percent but history shows it takes about a year for stocks to fully bounce back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Geographically which of these nations is closest to Japan? China, North Korea, South Korea or Philippines. The Korean peninsula became independent from Japan in 1945 and South Korea is its closest neighbor.

Getting medical supplies to hospitals and people who need them, developing vaccines. These are some actions being paid for by an $8.3 billion funding bill that President Trump recently signed into law. Other countries are also spending millions to come up with a corona virus vaccine and though one of those doesn't exist yet, testing kits do and as you heard earlier South Korea's been seen as a model for corona virus testing. How can the efforts of a nation that's about the size of Indiana potentially benefit larger countries?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Since the start of the corona virus outbreak, South Korea has aggressively tested for the disease with the help of drive threw testing facilities that speed up the process. South Korea has already tested more than 220,000 people. The quick rollout made possible thanks to fast work by Korean biotech companies like Seegene which gave CNN exclusive access to its research facilities.

This is the laboratory where a team of scientists came up with the test kit for diagnosing corona virus and they did it in under three weeks.

CHUN JONG-YOON, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SEEGENE: When we started we did not expect this kind of pandemic happening in Korea. Nobody expected at all.

WATSON: Chun Jong-yoon is the founder and CEO of Seegene. A company that designs and sells test kits to identify at least 160 different kinds of diseases. In mid-January, Chun said he first instructed his researchers to invent a new test for corona virus which was then starting its deadly spread across China. So you guys were already working on corona virus before the first confirmed case of the illness in South Korea.

YOON: Yes. Just hearing the news from China we thought it will be (inaudible) so we thought it was (ph) emergency cases.

WATSON: The molecular microbiologists got to work without ever having a physical sample of the virus. Instead they relied on a genetic blueprint of the new virus distributed by the World Health Organization and health officials in China highlighting three specific genes. Seegene's scientists then had to come up with a way of spotting those corona virus genes in future samples taken from patients. Was there more pressure than usual?

YOON: Yes. Because it's an emergency case (inaudible) corona virus into our countries.

WATSON: Not long ago it would have taken Seegene two months to a year to come up with a test but using artificial intelligence - - you were able to come up with a test in two weeks.

YOON: Right.

WATSON: That's pretty quick.

YOON: Yes, very quick.

WATSON: Chun says on February 12th, the Korean government fast tracked approval of the new corona virus test kit less than a month after Seegene started working on it. These six vials, some of which only contain a teardrop worth of solution, are what you need to conduct tests on 100

patients for corona virus. And that can be completed in just four hours. Seegene is now working overtime even drafting scientists with PhDs to work on the assembly line. That's how much demand there is right now.

YOON: Yes. It is (inaudible) markets. (inaudible) overseas (ph) market.

WATSON: The demand is urgent because identifying corona virus is one of the best ways to stop the spread of this disease. Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: The riveting rescue of Rockstar Freddy. Of course it's worth 10 out of 10. Rockstar Freddy is a teddy. It belongs to a Kindergartner in

Florida but for some reason a 1st grader threw it onto the roof of the school and the teddy bear's owner was crushed. But that's when the Cape

Coral Fire Department got involved. They were probably relieved Rockstar Freddy wasn't a cat and they pulled out all the stops to pull the teddy off the roof.

So they didn't need to raise the roof to save the stranded teddy. You "betty" that they're ready when there's a "bear need" for Freddy. They held steady and they didn't blush, even if the thing was plush. Bet you that it's still a rush, saving something stuffed, call it fluff, call it guff but don't ever say they bluffed because Freddy's now home safe and for his owner that's enough. Pun raps are "unbearable" ya'll.

I'm Carl Azuz and today's show goes out to Palestine-Wheatley High School. It's in Palestine, Arkansas. Let's go Patriots.

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