President Donald Trump put the stock market’s drop in perspective during a press conference Thursday, saying that “it’s not important compared to life and death” as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
Trump answered questions from reporters as he met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. At one point, the president brought up the stock market’s recent plummet as fears of the virus spread. He noted that, although it is bad, the most important thing is the health of Americans.
“I don’t want people dying, and that’s why I made these decisions,” Trump said, referring to his recent announcement to impose a near all-out travel ban from Europe to the U.S. “Whether it affects the stock market or not, very important. But it’s not important compared to life and death. So I had to make that decision.”
The president previously announced travel restrictions with China, where the virus is believed to have originated from. He doubled down on his belief with regards to the travel ban Thursday, saying that “the people that are professionals” have agreed with the move.
“I don’t want people dying. That’s what I’m all about,” Trump said. (RELATED: ‘Buy American’ – White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China)
Over 1,200 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday morning, the New York Times reported. The virus is confirmed to have hit 44 states and Washington, D.C. At least 37 people with the virus had died in the U.S.