Donald Trump was reluctant to do too much Coronavirus preparation in case it panicked the stock market, according to a new report. The markets have been volatile since the pandemic hit the U.S.
“Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it,” the source said.
“That advice worked far more powerfully on [Trump] than what the scientists were saying.”
“He thinks they always exaggerate,” the FT quoted their source as saying.
This “unnamed Trump confidante” reportedly speaks to President Trump frequently and would be in a position to gauge his mindset. However, Trump has slammed anonymously sourced reports in the past.
The FT investigation also quotes another unnamed official who explained what it’s like to advice the President.
Giving Trump advice is like “bringing fruits to the volcano”, the official said.
“You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason.”
The Trump administration has been widely criticized for failing to act fast enough or decisively enough when the virus hit.
The President initially downplayed the severity of the disease and fought with Democratic governors. He has since pushed to reopen the economy against expert advice.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media