White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow firmly opposed the idea of a hard lockdown to suppress another COVID-19 surge, telling Fox News in an interview Tuesday that the human and economic toll on Americans would be “enormous.”
Kudlow said he doesnt think any form of lockdown is a good idea and that people should instead rely on precautions like social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitizing to stem the outbreak, while allowing businesses and schools to stay open.
“This idea of more lockdowns, people just throw this out willy-nilly, forgetting the enormous human cost as well as the enormous economic cost,” Kudlow said. “The country cant take that.”
He argued that the risk to Americans comes not just from the direct threat of infection but from the knock-on impact of heavy-handed mitigation. “Its also our well-being, its also our psychological well-being, its our personal well-being,” Kudlow said, adding, “I think we should do everything we can, everything humanly possible, with safety and security, to keep the stores open, to keep the schools open, to keep the economy open.”
Arguing that the current COVID-19 mitigation efforts appear to be working, Kudlow added: “Lets get America moving again. Youll get your 20 percent, the V-shaped recovery, I think, is still in place.”
Kudlows reference to “20 percent” relates to an earlier comment he made about the Atlanta Feds latest estimate of U.S. economic activity for the third quarter of this year. According to a so-called “nowcast” statistical model that uses high-frequency economic data points to estimate the countrys Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Atlanta Feds prediction for third-quarter growth, updated on Aug. 3, stands at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 19.6 percent.
Prompting Kudlows remarks was a request by the interviewer for comment on a statement made by a top Federal Reserve official on Sunday, who argued that the U.S. economy could benefit if the nation were to “lock down really hard” for 4 to 6 weeks.
“I hate to even suggest it,” said the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Neel Kashkari, in remarks on CBSs “Face the Nation.”
“People will be frustrated by it. But if we were to lock down hard for a month or 6 weeks, we could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that its happening in the Northeast right now,” Kashkari said.
He said the economy, which in the second quarter suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression, would be able to mouRead More From Source