Speaking to reporters about the Trump administration’s initial response to growing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic entering the United States, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney whined about the media, casting blame on news organizations for significant drops seen on Wall Street this week.
Mulvaney complained about the press following and reporting on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, which he described as a “hoax,” to try to bring him down, CNBC reported.
The White House chief of staff, who also serves as Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said reporting on coronavirus was the same thing.
“The reason you’re seeing so much attention to [coronavirus] today is that they think this is going to be what brings down the president. That’s what this is all about,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney acknowledged that coronavirus is “absolutely” real, but implied it was overblown.
“You saw the president the other day — the flu is real…This is not Ebola … it’s not SARS, it’s not MERS,” he said.
When asked specifically how the administration might try to calm the markets — the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s losses alone have erased any gains seen since Trump’s tax package was passed — Mulvaney said his solution would be to limit people’s chances of being more informed about coronavirus.
“What I might do to calm the markets is turn the television off for 24 hours,” says White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney https://t.co/PgTllobqwX
— Real Time Economics (@WSJecon) February 28, 2020
“I’m like, ‘Really what I might do today [to] calm the markets is tell people turn their televisions off for 24 hours,'” Mulvaney said.
Attacks on the media have been consistent from members of Trump’s White House, including from the president himself. In spite of suggesting Americans turn their TV’s off — a questionable solution that has the potential for creating more confusion about coronavirus — it’s not the media’s fault for portraying the disease’s spread and how it’s affected a number of areas around the world.
So far, there have been more than 80,000 confirmed cases around the world, and nearly 3,000 deaths from coronavirus, also called COVID-19. While most of those cases have been in China, the disease has spread, and is now present on every habitable continent on Earth.
There have been, for instance, more than a dozen deaths in Italy, and more than 25 have died from coronavirus in Iran. In California, more than 8,000 citizens are being monitored for symptoms of the disease, prior reporting from HillReporter.com detailed.