President Donald Trump during a briefing Wednesday on a potential health crisis blamed a sudden stock market sell-off slide on a comments by Democratic candidates at a debate rather than the risk of a looming coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, who encouraged Americans to buy stocks even after a 1,000 point drop in the Dow during his trip to India earlier this week, was asked how the disease might affect markets and the economy, with millions quarantined in China and the illness spreading to Italy and the Middle East.
Trump pointed a finger at his Democratic presidential opponents – not the illness that caused him to summon top officials to the White House for his first briefing with reporters from the White House briefing room.
President Donald Trump blamed a sudden market slide on 'Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves' – not on fears of a coronavirus pandemic
'I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves and they say if we have a president like this – and there's always a possibility – it's an election, who knows what happens,' Trump said.
Trump added that he thought 'we're going to win' and 'by a lot.'
He spoke hours after seven Democrats squared off for a debate in Charleston, with democratic socialist Bernie Sanders drawing fire due to his strong performance and polling.
'But when they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, I think that has a huge effect, yeah,' Trump said.
He doubled down when asked if he didn't think the drop – a 7 per cent sell-off – had to due with coronavirus.
Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said 'quite a bit' of the market sell-off came from people watching his Democratic rivals debating. The first Democratic debate was back in June, and the market started tanking the day before the Charleston debate
''I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves,' said Trump
People wear face masks as a precaution to the outbreak of Coronavirus in Italy, during the weekly General Audience at St. Peter's Square. The General Audience is held every Wednesday, in Saint Peter's Square, which can accommodate around 80,000 people
People are seen leaving the arrivals terminal at Sydney International airport on January 29, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has now killed 132 people - mostly in China - and as of Wednesday morning had 6,000 confirmed cases while thousands more people remain under observation
Trader Frank Masiello works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,