Trump Blames Media, Democrats for Coronavirus Fears

In attempting to calm the stock market, the president misspelled the virus.

Imago/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

In an apparent attempt to project a sense of calm amid growing concerns about the threat of coronavirus in the United States, President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Democrats and the media—without evidence—of exploiting the situation to make it look “as bad as possible” and plunge the stock market.

That effort, which included a misspelling of the virus, comes one day after officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a stark warning that outbreaks in the US were inevitable. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Trump’s tweets all but confirmed reports that the president is furious with the CDC and privately blaming officials there, as well as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, for tanking the stock market this week. Trump has a long history of personalizing the market’s behavior, crediting his administration for rises while lashing out at his perceived opponents, or even at the market itself, for significant dips.

Trump isn’t the only one in his administration whose comments seem to run counter to those of the CDC. Hours after Messonnier’s warning on Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, claimed that the US had “contained” the virus. “We have contained this,” he said during an appearance on CNBC. “I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.”

“The business and the economic side, I don’t think it’s going to be an economic tragedy at all,” Kudlow continued, as markets across the globe plummeted. “There’ll be some stumbles.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate