Trump spoke for roughly one minute Tuesday afternoon in a hastily-arranged appearance in the White House briefing room, during which he applauded the stock market’s gains and took no questions from reporters.
The remarks marked a rare public appearance for the president since his loss to Biden in the election three weeks ago.
He appeared to try to take credit for the market gains, pointing to the progress that has been made on a coronavirus vaccine and declaring, “I think people are acknowledging that and it’s having a big effect.”
Moderna received $1 billion from the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed for developing and testing its vaccine. Pfizer didn’t get funding from OWS for development, but it does have an advance agreement from the federal government for purchasing doses.
During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently claimed that the stock market and the broader economy would tank if Biden were elected president. In a speech in Ohio last month, Trump warned, without evidence, that a Biden victory would trigger a depression.
“This election is a choice between a Trump super recovery and a Biden — in my opinion, this is going to happen; I hate to say it — depression,” Trump said at the time. “You’re going to have a depression. And your 401(k)s. Does anybody have a 401(k)? Throw them away. They’re not going to be worth — It’s a choice between a boom and a lockdown.”
On Tuesday, Trump struck a different note.
“That number, that’s a sacred number — 30,000,” he said, referring to the stock market gains. “Nobody thought they’d ever see it. … I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that worked so hard. And most importantly, I want to congratulate the people of our country because there are no people like you. Thank you very much, everybody.”
With that, Trump left the room, ignoring questions shouted by reporters.
Paige Winfield Cunningham and Jeff Stein contributed to this report.