- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

President Trump told Indian business leaders on Tuesday the coronavirus from China can be brought under control but lamented a big Wall Street selloff the prior day.

He also defended his request for $2.5 billion to combat the disease known as COVID-19 and his push to repatriate sick Americans despite his scathing criticism of President Barack Obama’s decision to fly back people with Ebola.

Speaking in New Delhi, Mr. Trump said investments in the U.S. have made Indian moguls plenty of money — “except for yesterday,” he added, referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting 1,000 points and other indexes plunging on fears of the coronavirus’s spread.

Mr. Trump, who frequently boasts about stock-market records, said the Monday drop was beyond anyone’s control, as China continues to grapple with cases and the virus takes root in places like Italy, Iran and South Korea.

The White House’s request for new funding is a mix of new money and authority to reprogram funds for Ebola and other things.

At a press conference, Mr. Trump scolded Senate Minority Charles E. Schumer for criticizing the funding request as “too little, too late.”

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus infects Wall Street; stocks plunge

“If I gave more, he would say it should be less,” Mr. Trump said.

He said Democrats like Mr. Schumer are “just not good for our country.”

The president said the coronavirus will not spiral out of control in the U.S., which is monitoring over 50 cases.

“The people are getting better, they’re all getting better,” Mr. Trump said.

He said Americans who were repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan — the virus ripped through the ship during its quarantine off Yokohama — are in “very good shape.”

During the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016, Mr. Trump frequently railed against Mr. Obama for flying sickened health workers back to the U.S. from West Africa.

On Tuesday, he said Ebola is a far worse disease than COVID-19, so it’s a different calculus.

“There’s a big difference in case you don’t know about Ebola or coronavirus,” he said. “I felt we should bring them back, they’re Americans.”

Mr. Trump said his hosts in India don’t have much of a problem with the virus, it seems.

“I think that whole situation will start working out,” he said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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