National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow attempted to explain his rationale behind his baseless claim earlier this month that COVID-19 was “contained” during an interview on ABC News Sunday morning.
After telling ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that he thinks the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill will give a “tremendous amount of resources” to get the country out of what he hopes will be weeks — not months — of an economic tragedy, Kudlow added that he can’t guarantee that this dire economic situation won’t be long term.
Raddatz then went on to press Kudlow on his claim earlier this month of the coronavirus being contained despite experts saying it will continue to spread.
As of March 6, when Kudlow asserted that the virus was “contained,” there were 148 confirmed cases in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. At the time, there were 10 confirmed deaths in the U.S.
Acknowledging that Kudlow has since said that his containment claim was based on facts at the time, Raddatz asked about why people should trust him about his prediction.
“Look, I’m as good as the facts are. At the time I made that statement, the facts were contained,” Kudlow said. “The President has just put the travel restrictions on China, and a lot of people agreed with me. In fact, at the time, a lot of people thought that the flu was worse than this virus.”
Kudlow then said that “as soon as the facts changed,” the Trump administration changed its “whole posture” and its “whole strategy.”
“And we’ve gone full bore, as I said. No package like this has ever passed Congress before,” Kudlow said, referring to the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. “And, look, as the President has said, we will do more if need be.”
Watch Kudlow’s remarks below:
.@MarthaRaddatz: "How can you be sure that this economic tragedy won't be longterm if there's no guarantee that people will have jobs to return to?"
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 29, 2020
ABC: You told CNBC a month ago that the coronavirus was "contained." Why should people trust you?
LARRY KUDLOW: "Look, I'm as good as the facts are. At the time I made that statement, the facts were — contained … a lot of people agreed with me." (Experts did not agree w/ him) pic.twitter.com/TaO0WpWYU8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2020