President Donald Trump blamed the recent stock market slide on dire warnings by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the dangers of coronavirus. The president has not talked much about the coronavirus publicly, but privately he is concerned about its impact on markets and reverberating impacts on supply chains, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, the Dow and the S&P dropped more than three percent while the Nasdaq was down 2.8 percent, the BBC reported, although White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow followed Trump’s lead in pushing a positive message about its impact in the U.S. telling CNBC, “This is very tightly contained in the U.S. I think this thing will run its course and the US is in excellent shape.”
Earlier in the week, Trump had tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
However with more than 50 people in the U.S. now testing positive for the new coronavirus, according to latest figures, CDC official Nancy Messonnier told reporters that people should be wary of the illness which “may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe.”
He has instructed his aides not to make predictions about the disease which could make investors even more jittery, the Post added, as the White House weighs up being able to ease concerns among the public without rejecting coronavirus’s danger should it worsen, making the government look ill-prepared to handle a crisis.
Economic adviser during the Clinton and Obama administrations told the Post, “You don’t want to overly feed the darkness, but if you seem like all you do is happy talk then you lose credibility.
“You get a three-hour high from your happy talk, but lose the long-term ability to be seen as serious, factual and potentially reassuring at a later point when it might be justified.
“This White House may already be in danger of losing the capacity to be seen as serious.”
Newsweek contacted the White House for comment. In a statement to the Post, White House spokesman Judd Deere denied that there was any disagreement between the CDC and White House economic team about the impact of coronavirus.
“Unfortunately what we are seeing today is a political effort by the Left and some in the media to distract and disturb the American people with fearful rhetoric and palace intrigue.
“The United States economy is the strongest in the world thanks to the leadership and policies of President Trump. The virus remains low risk domestically because of the containment actions taken by this Administration since the first of the year.”
Meanwhile, according to a letter obtained by CNN, the White House has asked for $1.25 billion in emergency coronavirus funding as part of a push for $2.5 billion which would included re-directed funds that had been set aside for tackling Ebola.
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