President Trump continued his tweet storm on Monday morning, insisting that the fast-spreading novel coronavirus is ultimately good for American consumers and that unwarranted fears being stoked by the Democrats and “Fake News” are the reason for steep market declines. “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!” the president tweeted, adding, “Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” Trump also attempted to allay concerns over Wall Street mayhem by comparing the coronavirus to the “common flu.” “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,” he wrote. “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1884.88 points at Monday’s opening bell, while the S&P 500 Index dropped 7 percent, triggering an unprecedented temporary forced halt on trading. Oil prices fell by more than 30 percent on Sunday night due to persistent fears of a coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. reports at least 550 confirmed cases of the virus.