President Trump said early Friday morning that he and the first lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus. This news has had a major effect on the stock market.
The president’s physician, Sean P. Conley, wrote later that Trump and his wife “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
Mr. Trump downplayed Covid-19 for long
Over the past months, Trump has famously and repeatedly insisted that the pandemic would magically “disappear,” or that the virus was largely harmless, or that it was “fading away,” among other claims.
In his recent debate against Joe Biden, he continued to downplay the need to wear a mask, stating that he puts on a mask “when I think I need it.”
The White House ordered some employees to work from home and those who came to work to wear masks except when sitting at their desks an appropriate distance from their colleagues. Just as Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence were being tested every day, those coming into proximity to them were subject to daily tests as well, while other White House employees had tests every several days. But those protocols were soon relaxed and most White House officials were rarely seen wearing masks, at least when the president was present.
While the coronavirus is much deadlier than the flu, the vast majority of people infected by it recover. Chances of recovery is high especially if there is no underlying condition, but the threat climbs with age. If Mr. Trump becomes symptomatic, it could take him weeks to recover.
Trump isn’t the first world leader to contract the coronavirus. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro announced in July that he’d tested positive. UK prime minister Boris Johnson recovered from COVID-19 in April, and Honduras’ president Juan Orlando Hernández was discharged from a hospital in July.
Global markets fall after Trump tests positive for coronavirus
News that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus sent shock waves through global markets early Friday morning as investors braced for an uncertain political landscape.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones industrial average fell by more than 400 points, or 1.6 percent, in the first hour after Trump disclosed his test results in a tweet. Nasdaq futures slid by 1.9 percent, and the S&P 500 saw a 1.56 percent drop. The declines indicate that the U.S. stock market is poised to open with a sharp drop on Friday morning.
Oil prices also fell by about 2 percent, compounding two weeks of decline that have been attributed to the lack of a new stimulus package, according to Reuters. Asian markets, including Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, also took a tumble.
European markets, including the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom, DAX in Germany and CAC 40 in France, similarly appeared likely to open lower on Friday morning.
U.S. stock markets had wrapped up the third quarter on a high note on Wednesday and showed gains Thursday as optimism built for a new round of stimulus talks.
However, the questions on everyone’s lip are: Will Trump and his family now contracting the virus do anything to change their outlook and acceptance of the science around COVID-19? Will Americans change their behaviors now they’ve seen that Trump can get it too?