President Donald Trump has failed to inspire any sort of confidence in his handling of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, which is slowly but surely seeping into then United States. At his Wednesday evening press conference about the situation, he even claimed that a stock market drop that’s coincided with the virus’s spread could be blamed on a Democratic presidential primary debate that, in reality, took place after the stock market drop began. At her own press conference this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared to question the president’s mental state considering Trump’s fumbling of these basic facts in the name of political expedience.
‘The President said something so strange that you really have to wonder. He said the reason why the market dropped is because of the debate the other night. Well, the market had dropped eighteen hundred points before the debate the other night. The market dropped while he was speaking yesterday at his press conference, so let’s not be silly about what that is.’
"We don't like seeing the market drop…we hope that this will have a turn around, but it can not affect how we address the issue." pic.twitter.com/akCMxleXJY
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 27, 2020
It’s true — Trump repeatedly claimed that a decline in the stock market could be tied to investors’ worries about Democratic presidential candidates, but the decline clearly and definitively began before those candidates took the stage for a debate this week, days ahead of the final primary election before a slew of states across the U.S. hold their primaries simultaneously on “Super Tuesday.”
Trump’s leap to use the Coronavirus to attack these Dems well exemplifies his already bungled response to the virus. This week on Twitter, he suggested that duly proceeding news coverage of the illness is part of some kind of “fake news” conspiracy to make him look bad. It’s not!
He belligerently tweeted anyway:
‘Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!’
Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape! @CDCgov…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
At her own press conference, Pelosi also noted:
‘We are hoping to work in a bipartisan way to stop the spread, to have serious prevention — science-based, evidence-based decision-making with professionals who know the territory… The market drop was disturbing… but again, we want to instill confidence without panicking people about this… what we’re there to do is prevent and not panic people on the subject.’
For now, the Trump administration has responded to the virus with a request for $2.5 billion in emergency funding, which members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have derided as too little. Trump also named Vice President Mike Pence as a lead response coordinator for the virus situation, although that’s not exactly well-positioned to inspire confidence — Pence presided over Indiana while the state suffered an HIV outbreak. Pence, like other Republican governors, worked to roll back public health services in the state. Now, the effects from the virus in the U.S. are continuing to pile up — the stock market dip this week is apparently the worse since the Great Recession, and the first community-transmitted case of Coronavirus in the U.S. was apparently confirmed while Trump spoke on Wednesday.