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Kudlow Says U.S. Economy Won’t Shut Down Despite Surge in Virus

June 25, 2020, 2:05 PM

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the U.S. economy will not shut down again, even as a surge of coronavirus cases threatens the country’s economic recovery.

Kudlow acknowledged during a Fox Business Network interview on Thursday that there will be “spikes and hot spots,” that could force shutdowns “in individual places or certain stores.” But he said the American people will “have to live with this, from time to time.”

“So we’re going to see these things. But the economy is not going to be closed down again,” Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, later told reporters at the White House.

The U.S. reported nearly 36,880 new infections on Wednesday, the largest one-day figure since the pandemic began. The surge was concentrated in Sun Belt states such as Florida, Arizona and Texas that re-opened their economies weeks ago.

There are signs the resurgence is taking a toll on the economy. Apple Inc. announced it was closing some stores in affected areas. Applications for unemployment benefits were higher than forecast for the second week in a row at 1.48 million.

Kudlow downplayed the rise in new cases, telling Fox Business that the rate of increase had only risen nationally “just a little bit.”

“The health experts are not telling us there’s a second wave and we have the tools to deal with this much more expeditiously than we had two or three months ago,” he said.

And the top economic aide expressed optimism about the economic data, saying he expects a 20% rebound in gross domestic product in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

He also said he believes the U.S. unemployment rate could fall below 10% by year’s end. It was 13.3% in May.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jordan Fabian in Washington at jfabian6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net

Joshua Gallu, Bill Faries

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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