Donald Trump Makes Surprise Appearance at White House Press Conference to Laud Joe Biden-Inspired Stock Market Gains
President Donald Trump made a brief, impromptu appearance at a White House press briefing on Tuesday to “congratulate” the American people on the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing 30,000 for the first time.
But Trump does not deserve credit for the stock market’s rally. The market jumped 400 points following the General Services Administration’s certification of Joe Biden as president-elect, allowing the transition into the Biden Administration to formally begin.
Trump delivered remarks for about a minute and then left without answering any questions from reporters.
“I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic,” Trump said of the news.
Trump, who has downplayed the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed 260,000 American lives and infected more than 12 million, bares the ultimate blame for the COVID-19 catastrophe.
“Never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000,” Trump continued.
“I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that work so hard, and most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country,” the lame duck president added.
The president’s eldest daughter, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, also celebrated the Dow’s surge in a tweet on Tuesday, evidently unaware that her father’s imminent departure from office is what excited the markets.
“Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 30,000 for the first time ever,” Ms. Trump wrote. “Congratulations America!”
Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 30,000 for the first time ever!
Congratulations America! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/pQFRdxaIHL
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 24, 2020
Stock market gains do not reflect the overall health of the economy, however, because most Americans do not own any stocks.
In fact, the United States is likely headed for a “double-dip recession” by the start of 2021, due to the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This could be entirely avoided if Congress gets its act together and passes additional legislation to provide financial relief to struggling American workers and small businesses.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act in May. But Republicans in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have balked at demands by Democrats and Trump to go big, insisting instead on individual bills for items such as renewing the $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (which expired in July), additional stimulus payments (either another $1,200 check or recurring payments), aid to state and local governments, an expansion of food assistance, and investments in COVID-19 testing, tracing, and treatment.
Control of the Senate hinges on which party wins the two Georgia Senate runoff elections in early January, and the stakes could not be higher. Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff are gunning to unseat incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. Currently, momentum is in the Democrats’ favor, thanks to Biden’s upset victory over Trump in Georgia in the presidential election.
Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of the American population is either skipping meals or unable to afford food, and massive food shortages are expected to plague food banks within the next year.
“Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, projects a 6 billion to 8 billion meal shortfall in the next 12 months, a deficit that may be magnified with federal food assistance programs set to expire in the coming weeks and months,” The Washington Post reported in early October. “The Feeding America analysis estimates the total need for charitable food over the next year will reach 17 billion pounds, more than three times last year’s distribution.”
Fifty-seven days until the inauguration.