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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid yet again on Wednesday, erasing all of the gains it had made since Donald Trump took office — as well as a key argument Trump has made for his reelection in November.

When Trump took office, the Dow stood at 19,827 points. On Wednesday, that number was even lower — 19,520 at the time of publication.

That’s down from a high of 29,398 on Feb. 14.

The market has struggled for weeks amid the growing COVID-19 outbreak. On Wednesday, the latest drop triggered the fourth automatic halt in trading in a month.

The stock market slide — thanks to economic fallout from the outbreak and related business closures — could spell trouble for Trump’s reelection hopes.

Trump has long touted stock market gains as evidence that voters should give him a second term in office.

More specifically, he has claimed that Americans’ 401k retirement accounts were performing well because of him.

“STOCK MARKET AT ALL-TIME HIGH! HOW ARE YOUR 401K’S DOING?” Trump tweeted in on Jan. 9. “70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent up? Only 50 percent up! What are you doing wrong?”

He also touted market gains in his State of the Union speech in February.

“Since my election, U.S. stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible,” Trump said. “This is a record. It is something that every country in the world is looking up to. They admire. Consumer confidence has just reached amazing new highs.”

He added, “All of those millions of people with 401ks and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 percent, and even more.”

Trump has similarly celebrated market milestones, suggesting they were tied to his success as president.

“New Stock Market RECORD. Congratulations, spend your money wisely. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!!!!!” Trump tweeted just a few weeks ago on Feb. 11. 

He even used the stock market success as reason why he shouldn’t be impeached and removed from office.

“STOCK MARKET CLOSES AT ALL-TIME HIGH! What a great time for the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats to Impeach your favorite President, especially since he has not done anything wrong!” Trump tweeted on Dec. 23, 2019, days after he was impeached by the House of Representatives.

Those gains, however, are now gone, as investors fear the loss of business and jobs thanks to the drastic social distancing measures that have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Trump has yet to comment on the stock market losses.

He did, however, comment on a gain a few days ago.

“BIGGEST STOCK MARKET RISE IN HISTORY YESTERDAY!” Trump tweeted on March 14 after the market recovered briefly from an otherwise dramatic loss one day prior.

All of those gains have since been erased.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.