White House Economist Says 'We Just Have To Live' With Coronavirus

by Madison Vanderberg
White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow Speaks To Reporters At The White House
Drew Angerer/Getty

White House economist Larry Kudlow says “we just have to live” with coronavirus and why is anyone listening to this non-expert?

As coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., White House officials continue to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic which is infuriating at best and dangerous at worst. Clearly prioritizing economic health over physical health, states have reopened most, if not all, of their non-essential businesses, and only a smattering of states have made face masks mandatory, so it will come as no surprise that White House official Larry Kudlow, who is the National Economic Council director said that we all “just have to live” with coronavirus. Uhhh, K?

“There is no second wave coming. It’s just hot spots,” Kudlow, who is not a medical expert, said on CNBC on Thursday, June 25, 2020. “They send in CDC teams, we’ve got the testing procedures, we’ve got the diagnostics, we’ve got the PPE. And so I really think it’s a pretty good situation.”

He then went on to say, “We’re going to have hot spots, no question. We just have to live with that.”

Aside from mostly saying nonsense words like “they send in CDC teams” (whatever that means), let’s debunk the fact that it’s not actually a “pretty good situation” in the U.S. right now.

Kudlow also stated that, “I think nationwide the positivity rate is still quite low, well under 10%,” which isn’t accurate either because the CDC reports that the nationwide positivity rate (which means that out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) is exactly at 10%, not under, and in the hotspot states, it’s worse.

According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the positivity rate is 22.95% in Arizona, 16.15% in South Carolina, 16.11% in Mississippi, and 14.40% in Florida, to name a few. These extremely high positivity rates could have to do with the fact that these hot spot states might only be testing their sickest individuals and they need to ramp up testing overall to get a more accurate picture, however, The Washington Post‘s data proves that seven states — Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas — are reporting the highest count of coronavirus hospitalizations since the pandemic began and Arizona hospital beds are filling up as health care personnel say they are running out of resources and running out of doctors.

Also, because the CDC has been testing people for COVID-19 antibodies as well as simply testing to discover who has the virus, the CDC now believes that the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is about 10 times greater than expected.

“Our best estimate right now is that for every [COVID-19] case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections,” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said on a call with reporters Thursday (via NBC News).

Also, a simple look at any graph (like this one using New York Times data) of coronavirus cases in the U.S. will tell you that we certainly did not flatten the curve.

New York Times

The only good news is that new reported deaths by day in the United States are dropping. But to get back to Kudlow, no, overall it’s not a “pretty good situation.”