Kudlow says ‘no second wave’ of coronavirus coming
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Monday minimized new spikes in coronavirus cases in states across the country and said there is “no second wave coming.”
“There are some hot spots. We’re on it. We know how to deal with this stuff now, we’ve come a long way since last winter and there is no second wave coming,” Kudlow said in an appearance on CNBC.
His remarks came just one day after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on CNN that the Trump administration was preparing for the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus.
Kudlow, who has previously sought to tamp down concerns about new spikes, noted that he isn’t a health expert but cited conversations with Trump administration health officials in offering his assessment.
He said that cases were spiking in 13 states, attributing that in part to increased testing, and said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was sending teams to states to help confront new spikes. Kudlow also noted that overall coronavirus fatalities are on the decline.
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“All in all, I think it’s a pretty good situation and of course reopening the economy is the key to economic growth and we’ve had a whole bunch of green shoots that are showing recovery probably coming on faster than a lot of people thought,” Kudlow said on CNBC.
Health experts say that current spikes are not indicative of a second wave but are the result of states reopening businesses amid the first wave of the virus. Experts have also said that spikes in cases, which have primarily been seen in states in the southern and western parts of the country, cannot be attributed to increases in testing alone.
On Friday, Arizona, Texas and Florida each reported record-high single-day increases in coronavirus cases. The recent spikes have raised questions about whether states could look to reimpose restrictions that were lifted in order to contain the spread of the virus, something President Trump has signaled he does not want to see happen.
Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has repeatedly warned about the possibility of a second wave of the virus in the fall but has said it’s not inevitable if the United States is able to contain it.
Navarro, who is involved in federal efforts to produce critical medical supplies, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the administration was preparing for the possibility of a second wave but insisted that officials would be ready in the event.
“You prepare for what can possibly happen,” Navarro said. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen but of course you prepare and I’ll tell you what, we’re a lot more prepared under this president than we were when China foisted this on us to begin with and let’s not forget that.”
Health officials including Fauci and Deborah Birx, another member of the administration’s task force, have been notably less visible in recent weeks as the White House has shifted focus to reopening the U.S. economy amid the pandemic.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany indicated last week that she would likely be offering updates from the health team at briefings and that the task force was unlikely to brief reporters as they did regularly until the end of April.
“Now we’re in a more regular routine where, when we see a spike or an ‘ember,’ as the president calls them, we’re able to quickly go and put it out. And we have that system in place,” McEnany told reporters Friday. “We don’t have regular updates for you, other than the updates I give you as news merits. And I’m regularly in consultation with Dr. Birx and the others.”
Updated at 10:48 a.m.