President Trump tried to calm Americans' fears on Monday by tweeting that his coronavirus task force is hard at work to protect us from the virus outbreak. The U.S. now has over 500 confirmed cases, and 22 deaths related to the disease. Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the task force, has been meeting with health officials to assess the government's next steps, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced bans on all non-essential travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea as governments try to contain the outbreak.
The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all - which saved many lives. Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
Great job being done by the @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
While Trump provided those messages, the Dow plummeted nearly 1,900 points on Monday, and trading was halted for 15 minutes, the first time that's happened since 2008. Of course, there were those who blamed Trump for the mess. But as plenty of other experts noted, the stock market plunge had little to do with the president, and everything to do with Saudi Arabia and Russia's oil fight.
Saudi Arabia on Saturday slashed official crude selling prices for April, in a sudden U-turn from previous attempts to support the oil market as the coronavirus hammers global demand. The move came after OPEC talks collapsed Friday, prompting some strategists to see oil prices crater to $20 per barrel this year.
“Crude has become a bigger problem for markets than the coronavirus,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said Sunday. “It will be virtually impossible for the [S&P 500] to sustainably bounce if Brent continues to crater,” he added.
Absolutely pathetic how many people are celebrating this to own Trump.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 9, 2020
This has nothing to do with Trump and everything to do with Saudi Arabia’s price war over oil. https://t.co/j3ngKFIwyq
President Trump tweeted a similar message in defense:
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020