This article originally appeared on Fox Business on March 10, 2020.
Let’s get real, America. This is the reality – the stock market has grossly overreacted to the coronavirus threat. We are facing a humanitarian tragedy. As President Trump and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow have been stating, it shouldn’t also become a financial tragedy.
When I woke up Monday morning, one of the first online headlines I saw stated: “Coronavirus cases doubled in Massachusetts.” That was disconcerting, so I pulled up the article. They had doubled to 15. Seriously.
I wondered if I would have even opened an article with the headline “There are 15 Coronavirus Cases in Massachusetts” or “Fifteen People in Massachusetts Have Come Down With Flu-Like Symptoms”? In reality, probably not.
In reality, there are about 113,000 known coronavirus cases in the entire world (there are surely cases of which we are unaware). Only about 25 percent of these cases (27,000) are outside China and the cases in China are declining. They are also declining in South Korea, a country with one of the largest outbreaks outside of China.
About 4,000 people have died – which is tragic. However, the world’s population is about 7.7 billion.
Should these numbers really cause the markets to tumble?
In reality, the coronavirus numbers are nothing compared to the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, in the US, from October 1, 2019, through February 29, 2020, there were between 34 – 49 million flu illnesses; 350,000 – 620,000 flu hospitalizations; and, 20,000 – 52,000 flu deaths. Yet, the markets not only remained stable, but they also hit new highs.
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