- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

President Trump complained Wednesday that cable networks and Democrats are trying to make the coronavirus situation look “as bad as possible, including panicking markets” after two straight days of Wall Street turmoil amid fears the pathogen cannot be contained.

Mr. Trump said he will hold a news conference at the White House at 6 p.m. — well after the closing bell on Wall Street — on the subject with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White House is trying to harness the narrative around the virus from China after a raucous early week marked by soaring infections in Italy, South Korea and Iran.

Markets plunged for two straight days, and Mr. Trump’s team appeared to give a rosier assessment of the potential for community spread in the U.S. than the CDC, which said the public should be prepared for local transmission and disruptions to daily life.

Mr. Trump, who recently returned from a trip to India, fixated on the optics.

“Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus [sic] look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible,” he tweeted. “Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!”

Mr. Trump told Congress on Monday he plans to spend $2.5 billion on the pursuit of a vaccine and other response measures.

Democrats said it was too little, too late — they urged the White House to send a supplemental request three weeks ago — though Mr. Trump said there was no way for him to make his political rivals happy.

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