Coronavirus Market Dive Is ‘Tip of the Iceberg,’ Warren Says

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said the 1,800-point plunge in the stock markets this week is only the “tip of the iceberg” of a growing economic threat from coronavirus and accused the Trump administration of “bungling” its response to the outbreak.

“Without swift action, supply chain disruptions and reduced purchases will have severe, long-term effects on our entire economy,” Warren said on Twitter Tuesday. “The government should be helping American manufacturers find alternative sources for parts and production and helping American exporters find new purchasers.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 879 points on Tuesday, after declining more than 1,000 points on Monday on rising concerns coronavirus could upend global supply chains critical to economic growth.

Losses in the stock market accelerated Tuesday after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak at home, despite assurances from President Donald Trump that the virus is “very well under control in our country.”

Top U.S. health officials said the outbreak is “rapidly evolving and expanding,” describing a range of measures the government could take if the virus spreads through the U.S., including school closings and cancellations of sporting events.

Warren, who released a plan to contain and fight infectious diseases like coronavirus in January, accused the White House of “mismanagement.”

“The Trump administration is absolutely bungling the response to coronavirus, putting our public health and our economy at risk. This is why we need a real plan and an adult in charge,” she wrote on Twitter.

Warren’s Democratic rival Michael Bloomberg also criticized Trump’s response.

“President Trump was briefed on coronavirus two months ago, but buried his head in the sand as people around the world were dying, and responded only after seeing the TV coverage of yesterday’s stock market plunge,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “And his failure to take steps to prepare for a pandemic is crippling our ability to respond.”

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

The World Health Organization reported Tuesday that the number of global infections exceeded 80,000, up 900 in a day, and that cases were reported in four additional countries — Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq and Oman. There have only been 60 Americans infected so far, according to the CDC, and none have died.

Warren said the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for federal health agencies didn’t help the U.S. to prepare for a possible outbreak ahead of time, instead of “scrambling” once coronavirus had already spread.

The Massachusetts senator added that the virus is an illustration of how vulnerable the U.S. manufacturing sector is to China, and called the virus a threat not only for health and economic reasons, but also for diplomatic ones.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing attempts to hide what’s happening in China endangers the health of people around the world,” Warren said. “We should lead a global effort to uphold principles of open science and transparency.”

In a Jan. 28 plan, Warren said her administration would replenish funding for federal agencies and public health funds with the goal of speeding outbreak response and would prioritize developing a universal flu vaccine. Warren also cited outbreaks as a reason to move toward Medicare For All, saying it would give infected people access necessary care.

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