Trump silencing White House officials from talking about coronavirus to keep stock market up: report
US President Donald Trump speaks about the impeachment inquiry during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)

According to a report from the Washington Post, Donald Trump is trying to rein in officials in his own administration from talking about the spread of the coronavirus over fears that it will impact the stock market -- and hurt his re-election prospects.

The report notes that the president has kept his own comments about the spread of the virus to a bare minimum, mainly saying it has been contained,  at the same time as health officials are worried about the spread worldwide.

The Post reports that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has been trying to dismiss drops in the market, saying investors should take advantage of opportunities, however points out: "The rosy sheen that Trump, Kudlow and other White House officials have tried to express about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak has now collided with reality: The coronavirus is spreading, quickly, to more countries. The death toll is rising, and the outbreak is wreaking havoc on global supply chains."

With that in mind, the president is reportedly furious with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over briefings given to the public and the resultant drop in the market due to panicking investors.

Noting, "Trump is highly concerned about the market and has encouraged aides not to give predictions that might cause further tremors," the report adds, "Now, White House officials’ efforts to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus have created new political hazards, as they publicly play down the threat while other federal officials with a background in health and diseases are warning of more severe consequences for inaction. The administration also risks creating new health hazards, should the pressure to assure investors of economic stability undercut its public health message about the mounting threat."

Responding to reports about chaos in the administration on coronavirus messaging, White House spokesman Judd Deere stated, "“Unfortunately what we are seeing today is a political effort by the Left and some in the media to distract and disturb the American people with fearful rhetoric and palace intrigue. The United States economy is the strongest in the world thanks to the leadership and policies of President Trump. The virus remains low risk domestically because of the containment actions taken by this Administration since the first of the year.”

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