February 26, 2020

Larry Kudlow, Trump's National Economic Council Director, went on CNBC to string together an impressive set of fairy tales about the coronavirus in the United States.

First he claimed near "airtight" containment. "We have contained this, we have contained this. I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight,” he told Kelly Evans. Meanwhile, the CDC told the public that it is not a matter of if, but when the virus will begin spreading in the United States. According to the New York Times,

Officials at the C.D.C. said they did not know whether spread of the disease to the United States would be mild or severe. But Americans should be ready for a significant disruption to their daily lives, Dr. Messonnier said.

It recommended preparing for such things as working remotely, schools closing, and telemedicine.

Secondly, Kudlow isn't at all worried about the economic side of the potential pandemic. Sure, there may be "stumbles," he shrugged, maybe some supply chain problems, but he said, "I think we can deal with those issues at a later time when the emergency passes, as it will. But I’m not at all convinced that we can’t get hold of what we need here in the U.S. We have stockpiles. We also have the capacity to produce more in all these areas.”

I'm no economist, but should we really wait until after an emergency passes to deal with supply chain issues that contribute to said emergency? Furthermore, I understand markets correct, and all, but the Dow losing nearly 2,000 points in two days is just a little oopsie? Unconnected to the potential impact of a mass outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S.?

I don't know, I'd tend to believe the Centers for Disease Control's assessment over Laphroaig Larry's any day. Whether he was trying to massage the stock market in an upward direction or massage Trump's ego, or both, he's not exactly a reliable barometer for the U.S. economy OR our state of preparedness for a health emergency.

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