A recession could easily start because of slow manufacturing.
What keeps the stock market afloat, however, is high consumer confidence partially wrought by Trump coupled with stock buybacks. Corporations buying back their own stock means there's less money being reinvested for capital itself, reducing their ability to fend off a downturn in lieu of short-term gains.
Now consider that China's basically the workshop of the world. A lot of business starts & goes through China. If manufacturing there is disrupted, supplies in many field are affected. In some cases, entire businesses can't function. 17% of the world economy belongs to China. That's almost a fifth. If China slows down, we all do. If China sneezes, we catch a cold.
That's likely why the media is downplaying the coronavirus so much. They know that, if the truth came out, investors would freak out & consumer confidence would plunge.
Trump inspires so much investor confidence that he alone might be the reason why we avoided a recession so far, rather than because of any policy or systemic strength. They are so eager to do business and Trump is eager to avoid recession; at worst, leave it for the Democrat. Trump loses in 2020? Democratic president immediately gets sworn in to an economic downturn and a Republic midterm victory in 2022 & presidency in 2024.
Coronavirus probably screwed up the timing, which is another reason why they're trying to downplay it. The recession was coming, but not for another year. But if China stops now, the recession could start as soon as April, and once things unwind, holy shit.