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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The novel coronavirus has put a halt to pretty much every health-related activity in parts of China, including elective surgeries like hip and knee replacements.

Between the lines: Medical device companies are starting to forecast large sales declines in their Chinese markets because people are staying at home.

  • Executives at Smith & Nephew — a device maker with $5 billion in annual revenue, of which $360 million came from China — said elective procedures in its Chinese market fell upwards of 90% in the three weeks of the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • Medtronic officials similarly said the coronavirus will have "a negative impact" in the first part of this year.
  • China represents a small part of Stryker's device sales, and executives said it's "too early to get into details about coronavirus." 

Yes, but: People are expected to reschedule surgeries soon, assuming the outbreak tempers, and regular volumes in China are estimated to resume starting in April.

  • "If someone needs an artificial hip, that demand will still be there in a couple of months' time. The question of course is, how quickly will the situation recover, and what is the capacity in the system to then actually make up for this pent-up demand?" Smith & Nephew CEO Roland Diggelmann told investors yesterday.

Go deeper: Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

The U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executive orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job, Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from the Trump administration.