On Thursday, President Donald Trump said that the deadly coronavirus outbreak may negatively impact the US economy but assured that his team was prepared to handle the crisis.
Trump was speaking at an event conducted by Fox News Channel in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This was his first town hall meeting for the 2020 elections.
The novel COVID-19 has now spread to over 80 countries, infecting more than 98,000 and killing over than 3,000. On Friday, the total death toll in the United States surged to 12. Spreading like wildfire, the virus has hit the world economy, resulting in a dwindling the stock market.
When asked if the coronavirus outbreak will hurt the country's economy, the US President said:
“It certainly might have an impact. At the same time, I have to say people are now staying in the United States spending their money in the U.S., and I like that.”
“It’s going to all work out. Everybody has to be calm,” he said. “We have plans for every single possibility and I think that’s what we have to do. We hope it doesn’t last too long.”
He repeated that his prompt decision to impose travel restrictions to China has helped the US to limit the outbreak. “I think people are viewing us as having done a very good job. What we have to do is do a professional job. Nobody is blaming us for the virus,” he said. “This started in China.”
Trump was also asked about his reputation as a germophobe and how he was responding to doctors’ recommendations to avoid shaking hands as a precautionary measure against the novel virus. “The bottom line is I shake anybody’s hand now. I’m proud of it,” Trump said. “You know, you’re hearing a lot of stuff about trying not to shake hands. ... It hasn’t stopped me at all.”