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

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 TrumpTrump again tests negative for coronavirus Trump speaks with network service providers on coronavirus response Meadows joins White House in crisis mode 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 SandersHuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Schumer: Administration 'must move heaven and earth' to implement new unemployment benefits Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search MORE (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist who is leading the field of White House hopefuls.

ADVERTISEMENT

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders 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.