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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.

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“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 TrumpIvanka TrumpTrump Jr. was deposed in inauguration funds probe Former Trump officials eye bids for political office The Hill's Morning Report - Disaster politics hobble Cruz, Cuomo 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 SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist who is leading the field of White House hopefuls.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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.