Saturday, March 14, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He bragged about one of the fastest stock market crashes in history.

One indicator of just how bad the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be for the United States is the stock market, which has taken a beating in the last month. But stocks did rebound yesterday after Trump finally announced he was declaring a state of emergency regarding the illness which is now projected to sicken tens of millions of Americans and potentially overwhelm the health care system.

Today, Trump bragged about that stock market bounce—over and over again. He tweeted about it, sent supporters on his mailing list signed copies of the day's stock charts, and took time out of what was allegedly a "task force" meeting to gloat over it.

In reality, Trump's decision to actually start treating the federal government's pandemic response seriously was such a big hit with investors on Friday that it almost made up for the even more catastrophic day the markets had on Thursday.

Trump has frequently shown what appears to be genuine confusion as the pandemic has spread. For example, he's confused COVID-19 with Ebola, and apparently thought that flu vaccines would work on it. But there is no chance that Trump, whose personal and political fortunes are tied up in the stock market, is as happy about the markets as he pretended to be today.

Why is this a problem?

  • Lying with cherry-picked statistics is still lying.