President Trump suggested Monday that concern over the coronavirus outbreak was overblown. In one of several tweets, he drew comparisons between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu," he wrote. "It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!" (A Reuters analysis suggests that Trump's focus on the illness's numbers could quickly backfire.) As for tanking oil prices, which led to tanking markets, he found reason for optimism, tweeting: "Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!"
And as for the massive market drop, Trump said the primary cause was the ongoing fight over oil prices, per MarketWatch. "Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil," he wrote. "That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!" He also again accused Democrats of conspiring with the media to hype the illness, notes the Hill. "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," he wrote. For a counterpoint, see this op-ed at CNN, which argues that Trump's tweets on the illness are dangerously irresponsible. (Read more President Trump stories.)