President Donald Trump slammed the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, complaining that the central bank was moving too slow and demanding another interest rate cut.
His complaints came as the stock market recovered after the Dow’s worst day in 12 years.
The president blamed Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell for the market, which has been taking dives amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak. Powell has been a repeat target of Trump’s fury when the economy is doing poorly.
‘Our pathetic, slow moving Federal Reserve, headed by Jay Powell, who raised rates too fast and lowered too late, should get our Fed Rate down to the levels of our competitor nations. They now have as much as a two point advantage, with even bigger currency help. Also, stimulate!,’ the president tweeted.
‘The Federal Reserve must be a leader, not a very late follower, which it has been!,’ he wrote.
Last week the fed slashed interest rates in the biggest one-time cut made since the 2008 financial crisis. Given the tanking markets the past week, there is chatter on Wall Street the central bank could slash borrowing costs to zero.
President Donald Trump slammed the Federal Reserve, complaining that the central bank was moving too slow and demanding another interest rate cut
Meanwhile, Trump’s administration and House Democrats are pitching competing relief packages to combat the economic havoc caused by concerns about the virus.
Trump touting his own play, citing the work of Ronald Reagan economist Art Laffer, whose famous ‘Laffer Curve,’ suggests lowering tax rates might increase tax revenue.
‘Ronald Reagan’s great economist, the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, has just said great things about a Payroll Tax Cut!,’ the president tweeted.
Trump awarded Laffer the Medal of Freedom in June of last year.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol Monday that the Democrats’ plan, proposed by herself and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, could be proposed and voted on as soon as this week.
This plan would include paid sick leave for those impacted by coronavirus, widespread and free coronavirus testing access, expanding programs like food stamps and reimbursing patients for costs not covered by insurance related to the fast-spreading respiratory virus.
She added that Democratic leadership could condense the congressional recess ‘if there’s a necessity — if we think we’re going to get some action in the Senate to do it.’
Pelosi and Schumer’s plan comes as President Trump is proposing his own economic bailout plan in response to coronavirus concerns.
The president charged the Democrats are doing nothing.
‘Nancy Pelosi just said, “I don’t know if we can be ready this week.” In other words, it’s off to vacation for the Do Nothing Democrats. That’s been the story with them for 1 1/2 years!,’ he tweeted on Tuesday.
And he touted his administration’s work in responding to the Coronavirus. The White House has been criticized for its response, particularly on the lack of kits to test for the disease.
‘Our CoronaVirus Team has been doing a great job. Even Democrat governors have been VERY complimentary!,’ Trump wrote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said an economic relief package could be proposed as soon as this week
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plan combats an economic plan the White House is proposing to combat the growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus
Democrats are critical that Trump’s proposal focuses too much on the economy and not enough on those affected by the coronavirus
But top Democrats are criticizing the administration’s plan for focusing too much on the economy rather than helping those directly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Markets suffered their biggest-ever one-day loss on Monday and saw a decline not experienced since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Dow dropped nearly 8 per cent on Monday, which concerned Trump, who often touts economic wins and market gains under his administration.
Markets saw a slight rebound as they opened Tuesday morning as the Dow raised about 700.
The president told reporters gathered in the briefing room at the White House Monday evening that he would be talking with Senate Republicans Tuesday on implementing a payroll tax cut, helping hourly workers not be penalized for taking off work and crisis loans for small business.
He also said he is looking at helping cruise, airline and hotel industries as they suffer blows with escalating fears of the virus spread across the country.
Trump promised his relief plan ‘will be major’ as Pelosi says the Democratic proposal would depend on the Congressional Budget Office and how quickly costs could be assessed.
‘We are going to take care of, and have been taking care of, the American people and the American economy,’ Trump said from the briefing room podium Monday and left without taking questions.
Trump has continuously downplayed the threats of coronavirus, claiming the situation is ‘inflamed’ by the media and Democrats – even as the death toll in the U.S. hit 26 this week and there are more than 750 confirmed cases.
The threat hit close to home as U.S. and global markets plummeted Monday and one of his own Air Force One passengers, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, self-quarantined after learning he came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
While the president said he would be meeting with House Republicans and Senate leadership on Tuesday, he did not say if he would be speaking with Democrats, who control the House and whose approval is required for a tax relief plan to become law.
Pelosi’s office said that there is currently no plan for Trump to meet with Democrats.
Vice President Mike Pence who heads the coronavirus task force and was left to answer reporters’ questions after the president left the room Monday night, said he had not yet been tested for the virus.
He also said he has no idea if the president has been tested, even though he attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and has come in close contact with individuals who have had contact with a person who tested positive.
At 73-years-old, the president is at a higher risk of contracting and falling ill to coronavirus.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement late Monday night the president hasn’t been tested.
‘The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,’ she said.
Doctors and immunologist experts have recommended that those above 60 take extra precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
No answer: Donald Trump announced a bailout in the first public comments by his administration after markets plunged – then walked off without taking questions
The president walked off without answering shouted questions about his own health status – after a day of claiming the plunging stock market was fueled by ‘fake news’ and that the oil price collapse was good for consumers
Trump said that the world had been ‘blindsided’ by coronavirus, and claimed shutting down travel from China had been decisive in ensuring the crisis was not worse.
‘We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck,’ he said of his upcoming talk with lawmakers.
The president’s Treasury secretary mentioned a menu of actions the president can undertake on his own.
Trump vowed to work with companies of all sizes ‘so that they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault. It’s not their fault, it’s not our country’s fault. This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it and we have been handling it very well,’ Trump said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who on Monday met with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., told reporters: ‘The president is committed that whatever support we need to provide to the U.S. economy, we will use all our tools.’
He said he has been speaking to the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, daily. He mentioned steps for workers that ‘need to be at home.’ He called them hardworking despite the quarantines they may face.
Mnuchin also mentioned ‘alternatives’ at the IRS at tax time.’
‘We have large tax payments coming up,’ he said, mentioning providing ‘certain relief to companies and individuals.’
Returning from a day of fundraising after a weekend in Florida, Trump avoided specifics in advance of his meetings. ‘We’ll explain what we’re doing on an economic standpoint and from an economic standpoint but they will be very dramatic and we have a great economy,’ he said.
House Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, whose Senate colleague Ted Cruz is under quarantine, was cool to the idea of tax cuts to boost the economy. ”I usually love tax cuts but I think it’s a little bit premature,’ he said, CNN reported.
Trump said he would discuss the response at a news conference Tuesday.
Mike Pence – who was left on the dais to answer questions – said he had not been tested but had no idea if the president had been.
Unveiling a bailout appeared to be a desperate attempt to arrest a precipitous market selloff which shocked analysts and was prompted by the collapse in the price of oil.
At the closing bell, the Dow was down by 2,025.32, 7.83 percent, which was worse than the figure that had forced trading to a halt earlier in the day. It signals the worst ever point drop for the index.
It was the worst day of trading on Wall Street since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Trading was stopped by the Street’s ‘kill-switch’, which is known as a circuit breaker, not long after the opening bell after stocks dropped by seven percent.
It resumed after a 15 minute break but struggled to recover throughout the day and ended up finishing worse off than the day’s beginning. For trading to have been halted for a second time, stocks would have had to have dropped by 13 percent.
By lunchtime, the Dow still had not recovered fully. It hovered between being down five percent and 6.5 percent all morning
In continuing to downplay the threat of coronavirus, he claimed the media and Democratic Party are trying to ‘inflame’ the situation in the U.S.
The president insisted while tweeting from Florida Monday that ‘life & the economy [will] go on’ as markets plunged and coronavirus concerns spread
The Dow Jones saw its worst single-day drop since 2008 as Saudi Arabia goes into a price war over oil and concerns over coronavirus spreading continues to rock, but Trump said the ‘fake news’ is the reason for the plummet
Donald Trump claimed Monday morning that the market drop is ‘good for the consumer’ because gasoline prices are coming down
Brent Crude oil, one of the industry benchmarks, was down by 23 percent before Monday morning
The chaos was caused by a ‘one-two punch’ of escalating panic surrounding coronavirus, and a precarious oil price war launched by Saudi Arabia against Russia and, in turn, the rest of the world.
Last week, Russia refused to agree to the terms of a deal that would slash the world’s oil production rates.
In retaliation, Saudi Arabia vowed to boost production and slash prices, a move which threatens to saturate the world’s market with cheap oil as demand for it plummets thanks to the virus.
Despite the financial chaos, President Trump tweeted about that it was ‘fake news’ and that Democrats were to blame for mass hysteria.
‘The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant,’ he tweeted.
‘Great job being done by the Vice President and the CoronaVirus Task Force.
‘The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all – which saved many lives. Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!
‘So much FAKE NEWS!,’ he said in others.
He also said more Americans die every year from the common flu than of coronavirus.
Even amid the market turmoil and focus on the health of the U.S. economy, Trump’s own health was a concern amid concern about his potential exposure to a GOP lawmakers who had contact with a man who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump refused to answer questions on Monday on whether he’s been tested for the coronavirus after traveling with Congressman Matt Gaetz, who announced he came into contact with individual at C-PAC who had the coronavirus and is voluntarily self-quarantining.
Rep. Gaetz following President Trump up the stairs of Air Force One in Orlando on Monday
Congressman Matt Gaetz, who announced he was exposed to Coronavirus, departing off Air Force One on Monday
Gaetz, center, was spotted at a party at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night where President Trump and several members of the first family were present
The president left a White House briefing on the disease after making a brief statement on the economic measures his administration was taking to combat the disease.
He left the room and didn’t answer as multiple journalists asked him if he had been tested for the virus.
Pence, who stayed to continue the briefing, said he has never been testified for the virus. Pence and President Trump both attended the CPAC conference at the end of the month, where an attendee tested positive for the disease.
He said he would get reporters an answer on whether the president has been tested.
‘We’ll get you a very direct answer on that,’ he said. ‘I’ve had no recommendation that I be tested.’
Gaetz traveled on Air Force One with President Trump on Monday when the president returned from Florida. He was spotted getting off the back of the plane, where he was met by an Air Force official and escorted to a waiting car. He was seen getting on the plane in Orlando, where he walked up the front stairs of Air Force One after the president.
‘While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon. Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week.’
Gaetz learned after Air Force One left Orlando that he had been in touch with an infected person at CPAC, two sources told The New York Times. He then essentially quarantined himself, sitting in a section of the plane alone, the paper reported.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.
- The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.
Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.
In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause:
- Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
- Low appetite, energy and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
- Confusion (more common in elderly people)
- Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication.
Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.
The congressman told The Washington Post he was put into a ‘closed up room’ on Air Force One after he found out he might have been exposed to coronavirus. After landing, Trump ‘coaxed’ him up front before leaving.
‘He was not hyper cautious about being in the same space that I was in,’ Gaetz told the newspaper.
‘I refused to go into his office, I stood outside the door. I told him he could talk from that distance,’ he said.
The Florida Republican wore a gas mask on the House floor last week to mock the outrage surrounding the epidemic. The stunt drew enormous attention, which his office acknowledged in Monday’s statement.
‘Congressman Gaetz had expected COVID-19 to impact Congress, given the elevated frequency of travel and human contact, and demonstrated his concern last week on the House Floor,’ Gaetz office said.
His Washington D.C. office on Capitol Hill will also be closed but his Florida office will remain open.
Gaetz was spotted at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night where there was a dinner for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and a birthday party for Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Also spotted at Mar-a-Lago that night were President Trump, Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.; Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump; Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Tiffany Trump was also spotted in photos posted to social media. Also seen was Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney; Vice President Mike Pence; Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Gaetz was spotted on Wednesday wearing the mask ahead of the vote on an emergency spending bill to fight the virus.
Just two days later and health officials announced the death of a man in Santa Rosa County, which falls under Gaetz’s northwestern Florida district. A second elderly person in Lee County has also died.