Fox News pundit blames Bernie Sanders for plunging stock market, despite experts blaming coronavirus

Charles Payne says the Democratic candidate taking the lead influenced the market

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Monday 24 February 2020 22:20 GMT
Fox News expert blames Bernie Sanders for stock market drops

A Fox News Business host has blamed Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders for the plunging US stock market, even though most experts credit the growing fear of a coronavirus pandemic as the cause of the drop.

Charles Payne, a longtime Fox Business contributor and host, appeared on the network on Monday morning to discuss the markert plunging once the bell rang on Wall Street.

"The Bernie factor is finally rearing its head in the stock market ... there's absolutely no doubt," he said.

His reasoning is that Mr Sanders took the lead in the Democratic presidential race following his win at the Nevada caucus.

"There's absolutely no doubt," Mr Payne said. "Now these stocks got hammered when Elizabeth Warren was in the lead. This is the first time, I think, Wall Street is taking Bernie Sanders seriously."

The stock market took a tumble early on Monday with the Dow, a stock market performance indicator which tracks 30 large publicly-owned companies, falling nearly 997 points at the bell.

But analysts credited the growing fear of the coronavirus, not Mr Sander's lead, over the reasoning behind the fall.

Outbreaks have expanded to places like Italy and South Korea, forcing investors to consider how the virus might impact the US. It has killed an estimated 2,592 people and infected a total of 77,150.

A Fox News expert credited Bernie Sanders as one of the reasons the stock market dropped Monday (AP)

Mr Payne did reference both Italy and South Korea as having an impact on the stock market Monday. South Korea specifically caused tech-focused stocks to drop due to the country's pull in the industry, the host said. But he also believed the presidential candidate was to blame.

The World Health Organisation's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus released a statement on Monday about the growing panic with the coronavirus. It has yet to call the coronavirus a "pandemic", but is prepared for it to reach that stage.

"Our decision about whether to use the world 'pandemic' is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes, and the impact it has on a whole society," he said.

"For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this coronavirus and we are not witnessing large-scale disease or death. Does the virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely. Are we there yet? From our assessment not yet."

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