ORLANDO – President Trump accused the stock market collapse on Monday of falling oil and media prices, again dismissing growing fear of the coronavirus as it faced one of the busiest days of his presidency.
Trump, arriving in Orlando Monday morning for a fundraiser after spending the weekend in his Mar-a-Lago estate, did not respond to reporters who shouted questions about the plummeting markets, but he made his views known through his Twitter account.
“Saudi Arabia and Russia argue over the price and flow of oil”, he wrote as Air Force One landed in Orlando. “This is, and the false news, the reason for the market decline!”
He sought to express the decline in oil prices in positive terms. “Good for the consumer, gas prices are falling!” he wrote.
As for the coronavirus, it tried to reassure the Americans by emphasizing once again that there remained a relatively low risk for most. “Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu”, he wrote. “It is on average between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is closed, life and the economy continue. There are currently 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about it! “
Mr. Trump has been charged with minimize the danger of the virus even though its administration has imposed travel restrictions and is struggling to expand the distribution of test kits. Privately, the president complained that his own health secretary was “alarmist,” but fear of the virus began to spread in the economy and society in remarkable ways, as organizations canceled conventions and trips, schools and universities are starting to cancel in individual lessons, and airlines and hotels are weighing heavily in layoffs.
The impact on American life was evident even in Mr. Trump’s own calendar. In addition to the in-camera fundraiser, he was originally scheduled to speak at a health care conference in Orlando on Monday, but it was canceled due to fear of the coronavirus.
The president’s mood appeared gloomy Monday morning as he left Palm Beach, quickly embarking on Air Force One without waiting for press photographers to arrive on the tarmac under the stairs to take his photo as he usually does. When he arrived in Orlando, he made a point of shaking hands with Governor Ron DeSantis, then shaking hands briefly with a crowd of supporters who had gathered.