The Trump administration has been criticized for its inadequate response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,700 points (7%) at the open of trading on Monday as global markets continue to react to the spread of the coronavirus.
The dip comes just two weeks after Trump himself tried to claim things were looking up and said markets were "starting to look very good."
Monday's decline was so precipitous that a temporary halt on stock trading was triggered in an attempt to prevent further losses. When the market resumed trading, the major indexes continued to plummet.
A price war over oil involving Saudi Arabia and Russia also contributed to the drop.
"The fear today is about a global recession," Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital hedge fund, told the Wall Street Journal.
The development comes just two weeks after Trump said the virus was "under control" and urged people to buy stocks.
"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA," Trump tweeted on February 24th. "Stock Market starting to look very good to me!"
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
The Dow has lost over 3,000 points since then.
The Trump administration has been widely criticized for its inadequate response to the coronavirus. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the administration has been releasing "mixed messages," while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted his own criticism, noting the administration has not "stuck to the science."
Despite the setbacks and market effect, Trump praised himself minutes before the stock market opened on Monday.
"The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus (sic) situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant," Trump tweeted.
The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, “The risk is low to the average American.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
Major events like South by Southwest have been canceled as cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus strain, continue to grow.
Sports teams around the world have said they will play games without audiences to limit viral spread. And a number of universities in the United States have begun canceling in-person classes, while public school districts shutter campuses completely in order to deep-clean their schools.
Overall, venues across the globe have lost precious revenue as travel slows, and major companies have reported drastic dips in sales. Apple has reported, for instance, that iPhone sales are down 60% in China, as the nation wrestled with the outbreak.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.