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Trump Says ‘The Markets Are Very Strong,’ They Are Not

The president’s coronavirus press conference on Saturday included the usual mixed bag of half-truths and misinformed statements

President Trump and members of his staff, including Vice President Mike Pence

President Trump and members of his staff, including Vice President Mike Pence

Carolyn Kaster/AP/Shutterstock

President Trump held a press conference on Saturday to give an update on how the government is handling the coronavirus. Per usual, the president’s words included a mixed bag of half-truths and misinformed statements.

Trump first told Americans that “there’s no reason to panic at all” and although “additional cases in the US are likely,” he then added, without offering any proof, “but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover” if they were to contract the virus.

The president then added confusion about the gender of the first U.S. coronavirus fatality by saying the victim was a woman. “Unfortunately, one person passed away overnight,” Trump said. “She was a wonderful woman, a medically high-risk patient, in her late 50s.” But according to Buzzfeed, the CDC and Washington State officials have confirmed the victim who passed away was, in fact, a man.

Then Trump, as he’s done on a consistent basis, downplayed the number of people in the U.S. with coronavirus. The president said there are 22 cases of the novel coronavirus but conveniently omitted the individuals repatriated from Wuhan, China, or from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. According to ABC News, the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. is 66.

The president also spoke about the market’s reaction to the virus, saying, “The markets are very strong.” But, of course, they are not. In fact, this week saw the three major stock indexes post their worst weekly percentage drops since the 2008 financial crisis.

Trump’s re-election chances are reliant on a strong economy and on the markets bouncing back. So, it’s not a surprise that this president, who lies a lot, would talk around the nosedive stocks are currently on while adding some wishful thinking. “The markets will all come back,” Trump said. “We have one problem — we have to get this [coronavirus] problem brought into focus.”

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