Jim Cramer says business leaders are 'personally worried' of the coronavirus

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday business leaders he has spoken to are deeply worried about the coronavirus outbreak, citing as evidence the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress.

“The people I know who were supposed to go there, it was kind of like a cruise — I’m not going there. I’m not going to risk going to Barcelona,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”

“You’re not used to hearing these hard-bitten executives say, ‘I’m personally, personally worried,'” he added.

The world’s largest trade show for the mobile phone industry had been scheduled for later this month in Barcelona, Spain. About 100,000 people attended in 2019. But organizers this year canceled the event on Wednesday, saying “global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances” made it “impossible” to hold it.

LG, Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, Nvidia, Intel and Amazon decided not to attend before the official cancellation, putting pressure on organizers.

More than 64,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and at least 1,380 people have died. The vast majority of cases are in China.

As of earlier this week, Spain only had two confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The decision to cancel MWC speaks to the wide-ranging effects of the outbreak, the “Mad Money” host said.

It was clear the coronavirus was impacting the business community, with factories shutting down as workers stayed at home and airlines canceling thousands of flights to China, for example.

Cruise operators also have canceled trips, and some ships that had already set sail are under quarantine.

But Cramer said the MWC cancellation sheds light on how executives are viewing the situation with regards to their own health, not just the welfare of their employees.

“That has not been the story. Now we’re at the, ‘I don’t want to get hurt [phase],'” he said.

— CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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