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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Having already hit supply chains and led to the widespread cancellation of large gatherings and events, the COVID-19 outbreak is now causing a repricing on tourism and travel globally, as airlines, hotels and travel operators see major declines in bookings and revenue.

Why it matters: China's record low readings in February for both manufacturing and services could serve as a warning of what's to come for parts of Asia, Europe, and even the U.S.

  • However, China is also where the best news about the virus can now be found.

Driving the news: Southwest, United, and JetBlue have all warned that the virus will have a serious impact on profits as tourists cut back travel and companies cancel events.

  • The price of tickets is plunging as airlines attempt to offload tickets, with Bloomberg reporting that flights from New York to Miami were being sold for as low as $51.

State of play: "This is not a drill," the World Health Organization said Thursday. "This is a time for pulling out all the stops,"

  • "Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans."

Scientists are still trying to determine how the virus is spreading and the best ways to combat it, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said.

  • “It’s still early days, it’s still a few weeks into this outbreak."
  • “We’re learning something new every day about this virus.”

Between the lines: The worst-hit industry may be hotels, which are marking down prices and facing what may be the worst year since the financial crisis, WSJ reports.

  • Marriott's shares have fallen by about twice as much as the S&P 500's since Feb. 19, with major hoteliers Hilton and Hyatt also badly lagging the index.

On the bright side: The number of new cases confirmed in China has consistently declined in recent days to zero outside of the Hubei province, and the country's lowest levels since the start of the outbreak. Stocks have climbed all the way back from their lows in a matter of weeks.

  • The trajectory of U.S. equities appears to be following China, which sold off immediately upon opening after the Lunar New Year holiday and erased all of 2019's gains while U.S. indexes continued to touch record highs.
  • The blue-chip China CSI 300 Index rose to a two-year high Thursday, as the country's massive stimulus efforts have helped provide a V-shaped recovery.

Yes, but: There is increasing doubt about the accuracy of China's reporting.

Meanwhile in Europe:

Expand chart
Reproduced from STR; Chart: Axios Visuals

Hotel bookings in Italy and Milan have fallen off a cliff as travelers cancel trips en masse, data from STR showed.

The details: The country has canceled major events, including Milan's fashion week and its carnival celebration. The festival was also canceled in Athens, leading to substantial hotel declines there as well.

Also: Travel analytics company ForwardKeys found that flight bookings to Italy fell by nearly 139% in the final week of February, compared with a year ago, the Washington Post reported. The company said that means the number of cancellations exceeded the number of new bookings.

  • “We have some people who are choosing to cancel going to Italy right now,” Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel, told the Post. “What we’re trying to message in reaction to canceling is, ‘Let’s defer, let’s postpone.’”

Go deeper: U.S. hospitals begin preparing for the coronavirus

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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