Kudlow: ‘Facts Were Contained’ When I Falsely Claimed COVID-19 Containment

UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, listens to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, deliver remarks on the coronavirus relief package after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Russell Building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, listens to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, deliver remarks on the coronavirus relief package after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Rus... UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, listens to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, deliver remarks on the coronavirus relief package after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Russell Building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 29, 2020 4:03 p.m.
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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:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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