There’s a lot of debate about the extent to which the Trump administration did or did not deny and downplay the threat posed by a worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus. But one thing that is indisputable is that in January, Trump’s Commerce Secretary said during a live appearance on Fox News that the outbreak in China would be good for America.
In a Jan. 30 appearance on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria,” Ross was asked by host Maria Bartiromo if the apparently severe economic problems China experienced due to its coronavirus outbreak would impact the U.S. too.
Ross began by saying that America’s sympathies must be with “all the victims of the coronavirus, so I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease.”
“But the fact is, it does give businesses another thing to review when they go over their supply chain,” Ross continued. “On top of all the other things, you have SARS, you have the African swine virus there, you have this. It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account. So I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”
During the same segment, Ross also said, “I think it’s almost physically impossible for there to be a recession this year.” Suffice to say, neither of Ross’ assertions have proved accurate.
The clip was first posted on Twitter the day it was aired, but it became widely shared on Monday after former Sen. Claire McCaskill drew attention to it as a critique of the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis.
Representatives for The White House did not respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
Watch the clip below:
Secretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus will be good for [checks notes] American jobs: "I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America." pic.twitter.com/Y4SbDIcTi4
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2020