5 times Trump and his administration seemed to celebrate the coronavirus


Trump and members of his administration see bright spots for themselves as the world confronts a deadly new coronavirus.

Public health experts are warning that the novel coronavirus could become a global pandemic that could lead to many deaths.

But Donald Trump and his administration have continually downplayed the potential impact of the virus and even appeared to celebrate what they view as its positive consequences.

Here are five times Trump and members of his administration said that the coronavirus is actually a good thing:

1. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus could be good for the American economy

When experts first started to worry about the spread of the coronavirus and its impacts on public health and the global economy, Ross went on Fox News to try to turn conventional wisdom on its head.

At the time, the virus was mainly impacting China, leading to questions about whether companies that manufacture their goods in China would face shortages in consumer goods.

Ross viewed possible supply chain issues with China due to the virus as a good thing for Americans.

"I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America. Some to the U.S., probably some to Mexico as well," Ross predicted in an interview on Fox Business.

Investors didn't seem to buy Ross' argument, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen a more than 10% drop since the start of the year.

2. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says virus will help Trump's reelection campaign

Kudlow, who serves as the director of the National Economic Council as well as a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, also saw some upside in the coronavirus.

"I think the way he’s handling this will have a very positive effect on his reelection campaign," Kudlow said Feb. 28 during an appearance in the White House briefing room, according to Roll Call.

"I'm a longtime Trump friend and watcher and now, of course, the last couple of years I've been working with him — for him. I think it was one of his best news conferences I've ever seen him give," Kudlow said.

Multiple reports said Trump fears the virus could have a negative impact on his reelection chances.

And Trump has complained multiple times that he's not getting enough credit for how he's handling the issue, as more people contract the virus and the death toll ticks up.

3. Kudlow says coronavirus is good because you can buy cheap stocks

As the stock market began to slide thanks to fears about the impact of coronavirus, Kudlow went on CNBC to try and quell investor fears.

Kudlow said it's not assured that the virus will spread and that at the moment, "Stocks looks pretty cheap to me."

Kudlow was trying to help stop the stock market decline, as Trump has often tied his own success in office to the growth in the markets.

So far, the Dow is back down in the 25,000 range, which it first hit in January 2018. That means the coronavirus has wiped out two years of market gain.

4. Trump hails 'positive' impact of coronavirus on domestic air travel

Fears of coronavirus have negatively impacted the airline industry, as people were forced to cancel trips over travel restrictions as well as take precautionary measures to try to stop the spread of the disease.

It's caused airline stocks to slide, over fears of the long-term consequences of declining air travel.

Yet Trump on March 4 said that people canceling overseas flights might actually be good for the American economy — echoing Ross' comments.

"A lot of people are staying in our country and they're shopping and they're using our hotels in this country, so from that same point I think probably there's a positive impact," Trump said on March 4 during a briefing on the virus.

Trump's theory isn't even correct.

Domestic air travel is also impacted, as companies restrict nonessential travel, and major events and conferences are canceled in an effort to prevent community outbreak.

5. Trump says coronavirus led to good February jobs report

Trump's "America First" protectionism once again climbed to the surface, when he claimed that the strong February jobs report was a product of the coronavirus preventing companies from doing business overseas.

"You know a lot of people are staying here and they're going to be doing their business here, they're going to be traveling here. And they'll be going to resorts here. We have a great place," Trump said on Friday.

He added, "So foreign people come, but we're going to have Americans staying home instead of going and spending their money in other countries and maybe that's one of the reasons the job numbers are so good."

Of course, there is no sign the coronavirus had anything to do with the February jobs report.

And the New York Times reported that the virus could have a negative impact on certain industries, such as airlines, hospitality, and entertainment as people cancel events and conferences to prevent a coronavirus pandemic.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.