White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended his infamous assertion in late February that the coronavirus pandemic had been contained “pretty close to airtight,” telling CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday that his remarks were factual at the time.
Noting that there appears to be a disconnect within the Trump administration between public health experts and officials who want the economy quickly reopened, Tapper confronted Kudlow with his past comments, prompting the Trump aide to lash out. “Well, look, Jake, for the umpteenth time I will say, my quote then was based on the actual facts—which at the time there were only 40 or 50 cases and it was contained—particularly after President Trump boldly put up travel restrictions with China,” Kudlow exclaimed. “I didn’t make a forecast.”
Since Kudlow’s insistence on February 25 that the United States had “contained this” and that there wouldn’t be an “economic tragedy,” more than 66,000 Americans have died from the disease and over 30 million people have applied for unemployment benefits.