Trump's desire to return America to normal operations supercharged the Dow

For many people, the most devastating side-effect of coronavirus has been the stock market's decline.  In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus panic wiped out all of the gains we've seen since Trump became president.  Even though that set the clock back only three years, for many people, it still felt like a catastrophic loss — and, indeed, it was such a loss for those whose current day-to-day well-being is tied to the stock market.

What made the situation worse was the fact that America's shutdown seemed to be open-ended.  Depending on which expert or media figure was talking, we were told America's economy could lie fallow for weeks, months, or even more than a year.  It's one thing to see the stock market lose three years of gains; it's another thing entirely to see the entire American economy come to a standstill for an extended time.  It would be a Pyrrhic victory indeed were we to defeat the coronavirus but revert to third-world economic status.

On Tuesday, though, President Trump signaled that he was not going to let America win the coronavirus war only to lose the economic battle.  In the morning, he sent out a tweet hinting at his plans:

That was a good sign for the stock market.  Then, at midday, during a Fox News virtual town hall, President Trump stated that his goal was "to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter."

This was not a throwaway line.  The video below, with statements the president made about the economy during the town hall, shows that Trump believes it's profoundly un-American for the nation to come to a standstill.  America has never stopped:

Trump's optimism had its effect.  During the two-hour town hall, during which Fox reporters, ordinary people, and medical experts got to ask questions of Trump; Pence; Birx; and Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, that little green stock market ticker in the bottom right hand of the Fox News screen kept going higher.

Wall Street got even happier when Nancy Pelosi decided not to hold the country's welfare hostage and backed off from her demand that, before agreeing to help Americans, the Senate had to agree to Green New Deal plans, union boondoggles, and "woke" diversity initiatives.  With the promise that American businesses (AKA employers) would not crater, Wall Street got to work.

By day's end, the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 2,112.98 points to 20,704,91.  Not only did this represent an 11.4% single-day increase, but it was also the largest one-day percentage gain since 1933, as well as being the biggest point gain ever.  We can expect that the stock market will bounce around some more in the coming days as the world tries to gauge the downstream effects of the coronavirus, but, for now, Trump has laid to rest concerns that America will be locked in limbo for the indefinite future.

There's also a lot of good news out there regarding the virus.  In the two weeks and five days until Easter, we'll know whether chloroquine and azithromycin work.  We'll know whether any of the other 77 drugs a supercomputer identified as possible treatments might work.  We'll have seen the curve-flattening effect of various urban shutdowns.  We'll have seen people's fundamental behavior changes (hand-washing, sanitizing, social distancing) flatten the curve.  We'll have more masks to protect hospital workers and more ventilators to treat those who are ill.  We'll have more tests to give a better sense of the disease's spread and mortality rate.

With all that knowledge and change coming down the pike, Trump is correct that we mustn't kill America's economy.  Trump alluded to the fact that turning America into an economic basket case will also trigger soaring mortality rates.  Depression, suicide, drug addiction, increased crime, possible famine, and the breakdown of the medical system are all killers, too.

There are always tradeoffs in life, and President Trump understands that economic strength ultimately saves lives.  He believes — and he's probably right — that the coronavirus will be sufficiently controlled in two-plus weeks and that the best way to save American lives is to get the economy on its feet again.

For many people, the most devastating side-effect of coronavirus has been the stock market's decline.  In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus panic wiped out all of the gains we've seen since Trump became president.  Even though that set the clock back only three years, for many people, it still felt like a catastrophic loss — and, indeed, it was such a loss for those whose current day-to-day well-being is tied to the stock market.

What made the situation worse was the fact that America's shutdown seemed to be open-ended.  Depending on which expert or media figure was talking, we were told America's economy could lie fallow for weeks, months, or even more than a year.  It's one thing to see the stock market lose three years of gains; it's another thing entirely to see the entire American economy come to a standstill for an extended time.  It would be a Pyrrhic victory indeed were we to defeat the coronavirus but revert to third-world economic status.

On Tuesday, though, President Trump signaled that he was not going to let America win the coronavirus war only to lose the economic battle.  In the morning, he sent out a tweet hinting at his plans:

That was a good sign for the stock market.  Then, at midday, during a Fox News virtual town hall, President Trump stated that his goal was "to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter."

This was not a throwaway line.  The video below, with statements the president made about the economy during the town hall, shows that Trump believes it's profoundly un-American for the nation to come to a standstill.  America has never stopped:

Trump's optimism had its effect.  During the two-hour town hall, during which Fox reporters, ordinary people, and medical experts got to ask questions of Trump; Pence; Birx; and Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, that little green stock market ticker in the bottom right hand of the Fox News screen kept going higher.

Wall Street got even happier when Nancy Pelosi decided not to hold the country's welfare hostage and backed off from her demand that, before agreeing to help Americans, the Senate had to agree to Green New Deal plans, union boondoggles, and "woke" diversity initiatives.  With the promise that American businesses (AKA employers) would not crater, Wall Street got to work.

By day's end, the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 2,112.98 points to 20,704,91.  Not only did this represent an 11.4% single-day increase, but it was also the largest one-day percentage gain since 1933, as well as being the biggest point gain ever.  We can expect that the stock market will bounce around some more in the coming days as the world tries to gauge the downstream effects of the coronavirus, but, for now, Trump has laid to rest concerns that America will be locked in limbo for the indefinite future.

There's also a lot of good news out there regarding the virus.  In the two weeks and five days until Easter, we'll know whether chloroquine and azithromycin work.  We'll know whether any of the other 77 drugs a supercomputer identified as possible treatments might work.  We'll have seen the curve-flattening effect of various urban shutdowns.  We'll have seen people's fundamental behavior changes (hand-washing, sanitizing, social distancing) flatten the curve.  We'll have more masks to protect hospital workers and more ventilators to treat those who are ill.  We'll have more tests to give a better sense of the disease's spread and mortality rate.

With all that knowledge and change coming down the pike, Trump is correct that we mustn't kill America's economy.  Trump alluded to the fact that turning America into an economic basket case will also trigger soaring mortality rates.  Depression, suicide, drug addiction, increased crime, possible famine, and the breakdown of the medical system are all killers, too.

There are always tradeoffs in life, and President Trump understands that economic strength ultimately saves lives.  He believes — and he's probably right — that the coronavirus will be sufficiently controlled in two-plus weeks and that the best way to save American lives is to get the economy on its feet again.