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Kudlow Whines About ‘Nitpicking’ When Called Out On COVID Denialism

Larry Kudlow just wants everyone to go back to work and stop “nitpicking” about health and safety in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, dammit!
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White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow wants to use the threat of destitution to push Americans into going back to work, without a care about the danger to their health and safety. You can rest assured he wouldn’t find $600 a week in unemployment benefits a cushy income. But for those Americans for whom it’s a lifeline - well, better they should be forced to risk their lives and help rescue Donald Trump's economy.

CNN anchor Poppy Harlow pushed back on Kudlow's claim that $600 a week is a disincentive to work. “Larry, it's not safe! It's not safe for a number of people to go back to work,” Harlow said.

Kudlow claimed he totally cares about worker safety. But if employers don’t take proper precautions? Oh, well, too bad, that’s not his problem.

KUDLOW: I have said for weeks and weeks and weeks, I understand the issue of safety and health safety and security. I get that. So, we have emphasized guidelines time and time again. Distancing and masking, testing where applicable and good hygiene, wash your hands. This has to be part of anything.

HARLOW: So wouldn't a federal mask mandate make a lot of sense?

KUDLOW: We think that people should act responsibly as individuals. We don't know about mandates.

Maybe Kudlow should talk to Louie Gohmert’s staff about how well those "strong recommendations" are working.

To Kudlow, the pandemic is not a big problem anyway because it’s going away!

KUDLOW: If you look at the numbers now, having had this rough period of spiking hot spots in the south and west and elsewhere, it is now leveling off and beginning to hook down, and i believe it's because more people were made more aware of the necessity of sustaining these health guidelines, and, by the way, closing down some bars in places and, by the way, stopping large crowds from intermingling. I think this stuff is actually working which makes me even more optimistic that we got through July and we're going to get an even stronger recovery in the months ahead.

Harlow pointed out that he keeps making rosy predictions that keep getting disproved.

HARLOW: Everyone hopes you're right. … Everyone in America listens on the economy when you talk, Larry, and -- I'm wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic. Back on February 25th, you said it's pretty close to airtight. February 28th, it's not going to sink the American economy. March 6th, let's not overreact. America should stay at work and just on June 12th, there is no emergency, there is no second wave. But since June 12th, 45,978 Americans have died from COVID.

Kudlow didn’t regret misleading Americans. He didn’t even express a word of remorse about the dead. He started arguing about semantics – and then accused Harlow of nitpicking.

KUDLOW: On June 12th when I said that, what I also said it's not a second wave, it's part of the first wave, and that comes from our health scientists …

[…]

KUDLOW: and in -- in late February, I didn't make a forecast, I didn’t say it would. I said at that time, as a matter of fact, there were only -- there were fewer than 20 cases and a lot of people across the spectrum, doctors and others, who made the same case. There were even people who said it wouldn't be worse than an ordinary flu. My point then was there were fewer than 20 cases. Now, as those numbers deteriorated rapidly, I, of course, changed my mind and of course with the facts. I was not making a forecast. I kind of resent your little nitpicking here because I don't know what that has to do with today's job numbers.

HARLOW: I'm not nitpicking, Larry. I’m not nitpicking. I think people listen to you and the president. They listen to you and the president when you say things about the pandemic.

Kudlow can defend his denialism from now until November 3rd, and it may curry favor with the TV Watcher in Chief, but it’s not persuading Americans that the pandemic is under control, and it’s certainly not going to help them feed their kids or pay their rent.

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