President Trump compares coronavirus to flu in tweet, says lower gas prices 'good for consumer'

Posted at 8:26 AM, Mar 09, 2020

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump appeared to be frustrated with the outbreak in a series of morning tweets.

Moments after the Dow fell 7 percent and triggered an emergency circuit breaker that halted trading; Trump equated coronavirus to the common flu.

"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!" Trump tweeted.

According to the CDC, there were between 20,000 ad 52,000 deaths from the flu between 2019 and 2020. Between 34,000,000 and 49,000,000 contracted the flu during that same time period.

Though about 500 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed the U.S., the CDC has struggled to keep up with the demand for tests for the virus, meaning dozens of cases could have gone unreported.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization estimated the mortality rate for COVID-19 was about 3 percent, which the organization said was higher than the common flu.

Trump failed to point out in his tweet that there is currently no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus, while flu vaccines are available to many.

Also, on Monday morning, Trump said falling oil prices are "good for the consumer." While AAA says gas prices have fallen significantly in recent weeks, economists say the plummeting demand for oil due to the coronavirus outbreak is a worrying sign for the global economy.