דונלד טראמפ בנימין נתניהו חתימת הסכם השלום בין ישראל לאיחוד האמירויות בבית הלבן
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House last month
Photo: MCT
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House last month

Netanyahu wishes Trumps 'speedy recovery' after COVID diagnosis

Pence sends 'love and prayers' to president and wife; France says announcement 'demonstrates that virus spares no one, including those who have shown skepticism,' while China media calls it 'another reminder' that virus still spreading despite Trump claims

Ynet, News Agencies |
Published: 10.02.20 , 10:36
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent get well wishes to U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on behalf of the Israeli people on Friday, hours after the Trumps announced that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
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  • "Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery," Netanyahu wrote, referring to himself and his wife.

    דונלד טראמפ בנימין נתניהו חתימת הסכם השלום בין ישראל לאיחוד האמירויות בבית הלבןדונלד טראמפ בנימין נתניהו חתימת הסכם השלום בין ישראל לאיחוד האמירויות בבית הלבן
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House last month
    (Photo: MCT)
    The message was echoed by Finance Minister Israel Katz, who also took to Twitter to pass on his best wishes to the Trumps in Hebrew and in English.
    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also said he and his wife Karen were sending their "love and prayers" to the Trumps.
    "We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery," Pence wrote on Twitter.
    Trump's positive test came just hours after he confirmed late Thursday that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus.
    טראמפ ופנס באירוע ללא מסכותטראמפ ופנס באירוע ללא מסכות
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence
    (Photo: AP)
    The White House had no immediate comment on whether Pence had been tested after the Trumps' and Hicks' diagnoses.
    The announcement drew swift responses from around the world.
    "This demonstrates that the virus spares no one, including those who have shown skepticism. I wish him a swift recovery," said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal.
    In China, which has been the frequent target of the president over the virus, the media reactions were somewhat pointed.
    "President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19. The news shows the severity of the US' pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection," tweeted Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of China's Global Times.
    "The positive test is yet another reminder that the coronavirus continues to spread, even as Trump has tried desperately to suggest it no longer poses a danger," wrote China Daily, the official English language newspaper in the country.
    "Since it emerged earlier this year, Trump, the White House and his campaign have played down the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines - including those issued by his own administration - such as wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing.
    "Instead, Trump has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of supporters. The virus has killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected more than 7 million nationwide."
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Financial experts, meanwhile, warned that news of the president's infection could sway the markets. Stock prices in Sydney, Australia, which is 14 hours ahead of New York, were already tumbling as the world adjusted to the news.
    "The market's already a little bit on edge because of the upcoming election and the failure of talks to result in a new fiscal stimulus," said Shane Oliver, head of the investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.
    "You can imagine all sorts of scenarios here. If he tests positive and then just shows mild symptoms, it will be over in a few days. If he gets ill and has to go to hospital, the market will be a lot more concerned. Obviously, to the extent campaigning comes to a halt, it might increase fears that he might lose the election," he said.
    "Generally speaking, the market prefers the incumbent to win and the general preference has been for Trump to win because he will mean lower taxes and less regulation than a Biden presidency," he said.
    "But the whole issue around fiscal stimulus is complicated because, if Trump loses and the Democrats win and they get control of the Senate and the House, it makes fiscal stimulus assured, which will offset the impact of the tax hikes. The market would probably be happy to see a Biden presidency with a clean sweep."
    The message of potential market instability was echoed by Naoya Oshikubo of Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
    "Trump has been trailing behind Biden and he has clearly failed to narrow the gap after the first debate, which is the most important of the three debates," he said.
    "I suspect markets will lean towards the view that Biden will likely win the election.
    "What I am worried is that he will become even more aggressive against China after he caught the virus himself for I got the impression that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become more anti-China after he had COVID-19.
    "For the time being it will be difficult for financial markets to be on risk-on mood."
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