Mar 23, 2020 - Economy

Kudlow: Economic cost of prolonged coronavirus shutdown is "just too great"

President Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Fox News Monday that the economic damage caused by enforced social distancing to combat the coronavirus is "just too great," echoing a tweet from the president Sunday night that "the cure can't be worse than the disease."

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan has reported, the end of the administration's "15 Days to Slow the Spread" plan will likely result in a clash between public health experts and Trump's political and economic advisers, who are itching to see the economy reopen as stocks tumble and unemployment skyrockets.

What he's saying:

"We can't shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great, so let's see how this thing plays out. More testing is essential, and we're loading up with tests now. That's going to be a big help. But the president is right. The cure can't be worse than the disease. And we're going to have to make some difficult trade-offs."

Flashback: Kudlow famously said on CNBC on Feb. 25 that the U.S. had "contained" the coronavirus and that while the outbreak is a “human tragedy,” it would likely not be an “economic tragedy."

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