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Trump adviser on opening economy: Target zones where virus is less prevalent

Trump adviser on opening economy: Target zones where virus is less prevalent
© UPI Photo

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE said Tuesday that the Trump administration could look at reopening businesses in areas where the coronavirus is less prevalent as it looks to stimulate the U.S. economy.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Kudlow rejected the idea that the administration was abandoning the advice of public health professionals in trying to boost the economy amid the pandemic, which has forced businesses across the country to close as officials look to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“We can target zones where the virus is less prevalent,” Kudlow said. “We're not abandoning the health professionals' advice, but there is a clamor to try to reopen the economy, and perhaps I'll call it less of a shut in. And so that's one piece that's yet to be determined, but it's one piece is being looked at.”

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Kudlow’s remarks comes as the White House weighs relaxing social distancing recommendations implemented at the start of last week for parts of the country in the coming weeks.

“Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation and the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time,” Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room Monday evening.

Trump said he was looking to help businesses reopen in a matter of weeks, not months, arguing that states that have been less affected do not need to be shut down.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said. “This is not a country that was built for this.”

Kudlow also said Tuesday that the administration still needs Congress to pass a robust stimulus package in order to help American workers and businesses adversely impacted by the virus, noting there would still be closures in parts of the country that has seen significant numbers of cases weeks from now.

“We still need the assistance because in the next week or two or three, you're still gonna have a lot of hot zones, you still got a lot of shut-ins. There's no miracle here. We're not just flipping a switch. The assistance is so vital,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow also said that the administration was not trying to stimulate the American economy at the expense of public health.

“I think that public health includes economic health. That's the key point and it's not either-or. It's not either-or. And that's why we're taking a fresh look at it,” Kudlow said.