Dow Rockets 1,600 Points – But Doctors Slam Trump’s Economic Fantasy

President Trump has vowed to re-open American businesses within weeks, but doctors and economists say his plan is impossible.
Posted in: Markets
Published:
March 24, 2020 12:10 PM UTC
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) roared back to life on Tuesday, surging 1,600 points as Trump promised to open America up for business within weeks.
  • Doctors quickly slammed the president’s proposal.
  • Analysts say Trump has no ‘magic button’ to turn the economy back on until the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

The Dow Jones roared back with a bang on Tuesday after Donald Trump promised to get America’s economy up and running again within weeks. In a press conference last night, the president said:

America will again — and soon — be open for business. Very soon, a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. A lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

While traders cheered the hopium from Donald Trump, doctors and analysts disagree. Returning to normality is impossible until the pandemic is over, said Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scot Gottlieb.

There’s no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as covid-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities… So long as covid-19 spreads uncontrolled, older people will die in historic numbers, middle aged folks doomed to prolonged ICU stays to fight for their lives, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and most Americans terrified to leave homes, eat out, take the subway, or go to the park.

Dow rallies back with a bang

Dow futures contracts hit limit-up in premarket trading Tuesday, and the stock market’s bullish appetite only increased when exchanges opened.

  • The Dow soared 1,621.24 points or 8.72% to 20,213.17.
  • The S&P 500 bounced 7.57% to 2,406.87.
  • The Nasdaq gained 6.59% to trade at 7,312.51.
The Dow Jones skyrocketed on Tuesday. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The president’s commitment to re-opening the economy within weeks has injected some optimism into the stock market.

No ‘magic button’ to turn the economy back on

The president has laid out an aggressive 15-day timeline to slow the spread of the virus, with a view to loosening restrictions after that. Scientists say the president should do the exact opposite.

It is way too early to even consider rolling back any guidelines. With cases and deaths rising by the day, the country must double down, not lighten up, on social distancing and related measures – Howard Koh, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Tom Inglesby, director of John Hopkins Centre for Health Security, said that ending the restrictions early would also have a catastrophic effect on the economy.

Anyone advising the end of social distancing now, needs to fully understand what the country will look like if we do that. COVID would spread widely, rapidly, terribly, could kill potentially millions in the year ahead with huge social and economic impact across the country.

Even financial commentators aren’t convinced by Trump’s bold plan. CNBC’s Eamon Javers explained:

The president doesn’t have a magic switch in the Oval office that can turn the country back on. Once you shut this down, it’s going to be very difficult and very complicated to turn it back on.

Dow Jones to face more pain before recovery?

Even if Trump does defy his health advisors and allow businesses to start running, there’s no guarantee the economy will bounce right back. One of Trump’s own allies, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that harrowing stories from the front-line of the virus will keep the economy subdued.

Try running an economy with major hospitals overflowing, doctors and nurses forced to stop treating some because they can’t help all, and every moment of gut-wrenching medical chaos being played out in our living rooms, on social media, and shown all around the world. There is no functioning economy unless we control the virus.

The president is undoubtedly frustrated at the slowdown in the economy, especially going into his re-election campaign.

Trump faces an impossible choice to curb a devastating health outbreak or keep the economy running. This week’s unemployment figures will give an insight into the true economic damage. If the numbers are worse than expected, it could hit the Dow Jones hard and mark a turning point for the Trump Administration.

Stock market awaits rescue package from Congress

Today, all eyes are on Congress as we await the $2 trillion stimulus package. After days of political infighting, we are expecting a vote later today. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. told reporters that he expects Democrats and Republicans to come together and pass it today.

A bipartisan multi-trillion economic stimulus plan is expected to take center stage in Washington today. || Source: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool via REUTERS

While the rescue package is a much-needed bandaid for the U.S. economy, Gottlieb reminded the president that this isn’t over until we defeat the coronavirus.

We must accept a sober truth. This pathogen has altered history and changed our world… The only way to return to a stable economy and restore our liberty, is to end epidemic spread of covid-19.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: March 24, 2020 4:00 PM UTC

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Ben Brown @_ben_brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at benjamin-brown.uk or on Twitter at _Ben_Brown. Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.