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Stephen Moore: ‘Economy will roar back to life’ when coronavirus is contained

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Economist Stephen Moore said during an interview on Sunday morning that the U.S. economy “will roar back to life” once the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is contained.

“Once the confidence and the health of the American people is restored, then… the market and the real economy will burst back to life,” Moore, an economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said on John Catsimatidis’s radio show Sunday morning.

Moore’s comments come as the stock market closed with steep losses on Thursday this week after fears of the coronavirus claimed gains from a short rebound on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 969 points, a 3.6 percent drop that nearly erased a 1,173-point Wednesday surge driven by soaring health care shares. The S&P 500 closed with a loss of 3.4 percent, while the Nasdaq composite closed 3.1 percent down.

Data from Johns Hopkins University on Saturday showed that the virus is still proliferating, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to 417. Seventeen people have died from the virus, with most of the deaths taking place in Washington state thus far. In addition, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed on Saturday the first presumptive case of the virus in the city.

Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 105,000, and the Italian government announced early Saturday evening (U.S., Eastern time) that it is considering shutting down the northern Lombardy region, a move that will effect the country’s tourism. 

Several major conferences such as South by Southwest in Austin have also been cancelled in an effort to contain the virus, potentially impacting local economies. 

Health officials have said the virus will likely die down during the summer time, then pick back up in the fall, much like the seasonal flu. However, a vaccine for COVID-19 will not be available until late this year at the earliest, if not by 2021. 

Moore, a White House ally, echoed the administration’s characterization of the disease as mild and “short-term.”

“I just see this as a real short-term pause in the growth that Trump has created,” Moore said. “Once we get this thing contained the economy will roar back to life.”

Similarly, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Friday was not particularly alarmed by the recent dip in the economy.

Kudlow said that he is confident that the U.S. would not need a substantial stimulus package to push past a possible economic downturn. However, he did mention that the Trump administration is considering a “targeted” economic aid approach for workers and businesses that have been effected by the consequences of the virus. 

“The story I am trying to tell is a story of timely and targeted microforms of assistance, not gargantuan, across-the-board, throw money at the problem, which has not worked in the past,” he said. 

“Because we think that we will get out of this in months,” Kudlow added.

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill

Tags Coronavirus Larry Kudlow Stephen Moore

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