Report: Trump Trying To Silence WH Aides On Coronavirus To Protect Stock Market
As the coronavirus continues its spread in countries outside of China and more than 50 cases have been documented in the United States, President Donald Trump reportedly has been highly concerned over the situation’s negative impact on the U.S. stock market, according to The Washington Post.
The president has become furious over the stock market’s slide in recent days, two people familiar with his thinking told The Post, leading Trump to encourage White House aides not to offer predictions that could further spook investors.
“Now, White House officials’ efforts to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus have created new political hazards, as they publicly play down the threat while other federal officials with a background in health and diseases are warning of more severe consequences for inaction,” the newspaper reported. “The administration also risks creating new health hazards, should the pressure to assure investors of economic stability undercut its public health message about the mounting threat.”
White House messaging appeared to conflict with statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week, which included the warning that Americans should prepare for the virus to spread at home.
The impact “may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe,” Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official, said on Tuesday.
However, Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, insisted that the administration has all but contained the virus’ spread in the U.S., telling CNBC: “We have contained this. We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight.”
Still, the White House maintains that it is not at odds with the CDC’s assessment.
“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,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. “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.”
By Tuesday afternoon, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat seemed to have changed the agency’s tune on the matter, saying, “We believe the immediate risk here in the United States remains low and we’re working hard to keep that risk low.”