Fox Host Says Democrats' Criticism of Trump Response to Coronavirus Is 'Drumming Up' Market Panic

Fox Business host Stuart Varney suggested that Democrats' criticism of President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus is "drumming up some panic" in the stock market.

"Well, look what some of the leading Democrats have been saying about the president's performance on the virus. I think they've been creating a level of panic here, and that's not helping the market," Varney said Thursday on Fox and Friends.

"If that's not drumming up some panic, which actually encourages the downside move for the market, I don't know what is. Politics is a factor," he said.

Varney's comments came as Republicans and Democrats disagree on the proper ways the U.S. should handle the outbreak of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Many Democrats say they think Trump is downplaying to severity of the virus. On Wednesday, the president told that nation that "the risk to the American people remains very low."

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed anger about the administration's handling of the outbreak, which he said was filled with "towering and dangerous incompetence."

"Here in the United States, the Trump administration has been caught flat-footed. The administration has no plan to deal with the coronavirus, no plan and seemingly no urgency to develop one," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Trump was also criticized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called his response to the outbreak "shameful." She noted that his request for $2.5 billion to tackle the virus is "long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency."

Trump responded to the criticism from Pelosi and Schumer during Wednesday's press conference at the White House.

"I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent. I think she's not thinking about the country," Trump said. "I hope that it's going to be a very little problem, but we have to work together. Instead, she wants to do the same thing with 'Crying' Chuck Schumer."

On Fox and Friends, Varney noted the coronavirus' impact on the stock market and said that "the real driver here is obviously the spreading virus. There's no question about that. But politics is a factor."

Throughout the week, the stock market has had major declines. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones average closed down 123.77 points with a loss of 0.5 percent, while the S&P dropped 11.82 points or 0.4 percent. This followed the Dow's drop of nearly 900 points on Tuesday and over 1,000 points on Monday.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and is spreading across the globe. According to a February 26 report from the World Health Organization, there are currently 53 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 81,109 confirmed cases globally. China has 78,191 confirmed cases, with 2,718 COVID-19 deaths there and 44 outside of the country.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a news conference with members of the coronavirus task force on February 26. Tasos Katopodis/Getty