Mar 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

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."

Go deeper

U.S. leads world in confirmed coronavirus cases for first time

The U.S. Capitol reflected in the side of a standby ambulance on March 26, 2020. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The United States on Thursday reported the most coronavirus cases in the world for the first time, over China and Italy with at least 82,404 infections and more than 1,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Why it matters: From the beginning, the U.S. — with a population of more than 325 million — has repeatedly underestimated and reacted slowly to the coronavirus, prolonging its economic pain and multiplying its toll on Americans’ health.

Go deeperArrowMar 26, 2020 - Health

Pelosi and Schumer call for paid sick leave for coronavirus patients

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer at a news conference in the Capitol, May 15, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the Trump administration to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus by stepping up workers' protections with a series of new measures.

Details: Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement the administration should introduce paid sick leave for those impacted by COVID-19, enable widespread and free coronavirus testing access, expand programs such as SNAP food stamps, and reimburse patients for noncovered costs related to the virus.

Go deeperArrowMar 9, 2020 - Health

Why an effective quarantine is the lesser of two evils

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We've gone on holiday by mistake. And we're going to have to stay here for a while.

The big picture: During normal, scheduled holidays — the period between Christmas and New Year's, for instance, or all of August in France — GDP plunges to well below normal levels, no one much minds, and then economic activity bounces happily back again.