Trump says COVID-19 may take a toll on the economy, but he has a plan for every possibility

Trump on coronavirus’ economic impact

President Trump believes the deadly coronavirus is helping localized travel, reminding people to stay calm in the meantime.

President Trump downplayed the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak and how they could affect his re-election efforts during the FOX News Town Hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania Thursday.

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“It certainly might have an impact,” he said, but was quick to point out that “people are viewing us as having done a very good job … Nobody is blaming us for the virus.”

Even with recent losses on the stock market attributed to coronavirus jitters that have turned the Dow Jones Industrial Average away from 30,000, Trump noted the index remains close to its all-time high.

“It’s still the highest it’s ever been by far,” he said.

President Donald Trump speaks during a FOX News Channel town hall at the Scranton Cultural Center, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Scranton, Pa., co-moderated by FNC’s chief political anchor Bret Baier of Special Report and The Story anchor Martha MacCal

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Trump touted the early decision to screen travelers coming from China with slowing the spread of the virus in the U.S. As of Thursday, there were 149 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the World Health Organization reported more than 95,000 cases worldwide. The president said his administration has planned “for every single possibility.”

“Everybody has to be calm,” Trump said. “It’s all going to work out”

The president said there could even be an upside to global travel slowing as a result of the outbreak. “I have to say, people are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the U.S., and I like that.”

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Trump was also questioned about the national debt, by Fox News' chief political anchor Bret Baier who reminded the president he had promised to pay it off in eight years during his 2016 campaign. Instead and now about $3.5 trillion has been added under his administration.

“I had to fix the military,” Trump said. “The military was depleted.”

The town hall's co-anchor, Martha MacCallum, asked about Federal entitlements — such as Social Security and veterans’ pensions — in the second term, to which Trump said, “We’ll be cutting," but was quick to add, "we’ll also have growth like never before.”

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When asked about health care, Trump said unsuccessful efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, were what he was “most disappointed” about from his time in the White House.

“What we’d like to do is totally kill it, but before we do that, come up with something that’s great,” he said.

Trump said he hoped to replace Obamacare with “something much better” in a second term, but Republicans would need to control the House of Representatives.

“If we can get the House, you’ll have the best health care, health insurance, anywhere on the planet,” he said.

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