CNBC’s Rick Santelli apologizes for ‘absurd’ remark that it might be better if everyone got the coronavirus at once

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CNBC’s Rick Santelli apologized Friday for his “absurd” suggestion the day before that infecting everyone in the U.S. at once with the coronavirus could ultimately be better for global and domestic markets because “in a month” the outbreak would be over.

“It was just a stupid thing to say. It is not appropriate in this instance, and we are resilient, both in the United States and in the globe, and that resilience will get us through,” Santelli said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“The idea of something so absurd — I just apologize, and I apologize to everyone on this segment and all my peers at CNBC,” he continued. “We will get through this. We are resilient. But even if one life is affected, I do apologize for my insensitivity.”    

The apology comes after Santelli went viral after an interview on CNBC’s “The Exchange” on Thursday.

“Of course, people are getting nervous,” Santelli said to anchor Kelly Evans as they discussed the economic turmoil that has accompanied the coronavirus. “And listen, I’m not a doctor. All I know is, think about how the world would be if you tried to quarantine everybody because of the generic-type flu.”

“Now, I’m not saying this is the generic-type flu,” he noted. “But maybe we’d be just better off if we gave it to everybody, and then in a month it would be over because the mortality rate of this probably isn’t going to be any different if we did it that way than the long-term picture, but the difference is we’re wreaking havoc on global and domestic economies.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 970 points on Thursday and continued to fall on Friday, furthering a steep decline as markets across the globe grapple with uncertainty around the impact the coronavirus is having on supply chains and the ability to travel.

Tags CNBC Coronavirus Rick Santelli Squawk Box

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