Everything is Fine, Kudlow Says

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials say Americans should be prepare for "severe" disruptions to daily life if the coronavirus spreads throughout communities in the United States; a possibility that officials believe is just a matter of when.

The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s head of respiratory diseases, told reporters on a conference call.

What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a U.S. outbreak might be. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe” and businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possible impact from the spread of the virus, Messonnier cautioned. [...]

In a teleconference later on Tuesday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, said that while the immediate risk in the United States was low, the current global situation suggested a pandemic was likely.

It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when and how many people will be infected,” Schuchat said.

So, that's what the experts say. But what does non-expert Larry Kudlow say?

Trump's top economic adviser, who is almost always wrong, says the Trump regime has placed an "airtight" lid on the virus and it's not a threat to the economy.

We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but it’s pretty close to airtight,” Kudlow told CNBC’s Kelly Evans on “The Exchange.” He added that, while the outbreak is a “human tragedy,” it will likely not be an “economic tragedy.”

The market dropped by over 1,700 points between Monday and Tuesday when Kudlow said this. Treasury yields have also dropped to an all-time record low.

It's not as if the word of Goldman Sachs is law, but the world's second largest investment has informed their clients that they expect economic growth will fall to 1.2 percent because of the virus. And that was before the CDC's warning to the public.

Kudlow also told CNBC that the U.S. economy will avoid a recession even if the virus causes a global recession, but I personally can't place much value in Kudlow's assessment. His words feel like the kiss of death more often than not.

I don't know what's going to happen next regarding the virus and its impact on the global economy, but we're seeing two entirely different messages from the Trump White House and health care officials. It's the former's propensity to declare that everything is fine that concerns me the most.

  • Badgerite

    Lesson of the Day. Authoritarians do not do “preserve, protect and defend” or “health and safety” very well. Never have. Never will. Keeping themselves ‘safe’ is what they are about. Not keeping the country safe.

  • Christopher Foxx

    but we’re seeing two entirely different messages from the Trump White House and health care officials

    No confusion caused there because one should always simply never believe anything said by the Trump White House.

  • muselet

    The CDC is correct. Americans should plan for an outbreak, even with the uncertainties of its timing, and how large and how serious that outbreak will turn out to be. Statistically, it’s going to happen, and it would be better to be prepared.

    Larry Kudlow’s preposterous happy talk about airtight containment, and the difference between a “human tragedy” and an “economic tragedy”—presumably, the latter would be far more concerning than the former—is simply inappropriate. A sane administration would put a ball gag in the mouth of someone talking like that and sit him on the naughty step to think about what he’d done.

    A sane administration also wouldn’t have a Secretary of State like Mike Pompeo, who took the opportunity to screech at Iran and China, thereby possibly jeopardizing those countries’ cooperation with WHO.

    Of course, a sane administration wouldn’t be headed by someone who seems genuinely to believe he and his minions have done an all-caps “GREAT” job in dealing with the threat of the virus.

    If we get a serious Covid-19 outbreak here or if the stock market doesn’t rebound quickly enough for Donald Trump’s taste, you just know he’s going to blame Adam Schiff, the Deep State and Hillary Clinton’s emails.


  • Idiots. Even if the U.S. doesn’t have one additional case of the virus (unlikely), the rest of the world certainly will be hurt and that will affect our economy. Idiots.

    And I “love” how the sole indicator of our well-being, according to Trump, is now the stock market. It’s the ONLY thing he cares about, until it tanks, in which case he’ll drop it like he drops advisers he then throws under the bus.

    • mnpollio

      Agreed and I wish more people would stress this about Trump and the Republicans basing every move they make on the fickle fluctuations of the stock market. The stock market is by no stretch the sole indicator on how well a society is doing. And this has been emphasized in the last few decades by the major disparities between what the stock market does and what happens on Main Street. We have now reached an absurd point when the decider on the impact of pandemics is not scientists or doctors or the CDC, but Whiny Trump’s all-knowing all-encompassing stock market.

      • Christopher Foxx

        The stock market is by no stretch the sole indicator on how well a society is doing.

        It absolutely is.

        If you’re in the top percents and the only thing important to you is the value of your portfolio.