Trump's top economic adviser confident coronavirus won't sink economy

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE on Friday downplayed the impact of the coronavirus, arguing it would not lead to an economic downturn.

“The virus is not going to sink the American economy. What is or could sink the American economy is the socialism coming from our friends on the other side of the aisle,” Kudlow told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “That’s the biggest fear that I have today.”

Kudlow asserted that economic data “have actually been quite good,” pointing to figures on consumer spending. He described the stock market as “worried” by the virus but suggested that investors could have confidence in “buying the dip” in the market.


“The stock market is worried, its fearful. But if you’re the long term investor — which you all should be since I believe and Ivanka believes that the country is in good, safe hands right now — you might think about buying the dip,” said Kudlow, speaking alongside Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Country reacts to debate night of mudslinging Ex-Watergate prosecutor predicts Trump will be charged for tax evasion after he leaves office Five takeaways from NYT Trump taxes bombshell MORE.

He made similar remarks in a Monday evening interview with The Washington Post, advising investors to consider “buying these dips” as the stock market fell from record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq composite have all dropped roughly 8 percent since Tuesday morning.

Kudlow's remarks on Friday came as U.S. stocks continued their dismal slide this week amid growing fears over the global spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China. Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about the negative economic impacts heading into November.

Trump has made the economy a centerpiece of his reelection campaign, often touting low unemployment rates and stock market gains.

Kudlow’s remarks Friday appeared aimed at easing economic fears while simultaneously criticizing policies put forth by Democratic presidential candidates, particularly Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say Biden survived brutal debate — and that's enough The Hill's Morning Report - Fight night: Trump, Biden hurl insults in nasty debate Trump, Biden clash over health care as debate begins MORE (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist who is leading the field of White House hopefuls.


President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE has frequently characterized proposals from Democrats as "socialist," arguing they would lead to an economic downturn.

Like Kudlow, Trump has sought to downplay fears about the spread of the virus, saying his administration has it under control and expressing doubt that its spread throughout the U.S. would be inevitable. He has also criticized the media and Democrats, accusing both of deliberately stoking fears about the virus.

More than 80,000 coronavirus cases have been identified worldwide. The United States has confirmed only a handful of those cases, but U.S. officials have warned of a broader spread across the country.

Sylvan Lane contributed.