Larry Kudlow Says He Expects ‘Very Difficult’ Economic Numbers In May: ‘I Don’t Want To Sugarcoat It’

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In an interview with ABC News broadcast on Sunday, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that the economic numbers in May could be “very difficult.”

Per statistics released by the United States Department of Labor, more than 20 million jobs were lost in the month of April. But according to Kudlow, “inside the numbers is a glimmer of hope.”

The White House adviser told anchor George Stephanopoulos that 80 percent of the 20 million “was furloughs and temporary layoffs.” Even though that does not necessarily mean all workers have kept their jobs, “the worker and the business is still intact,” he argued.

Kudlow conceded that the trend is likely to continue.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat it because I think the numbers for May are going to be also very difficult. It’s going to take a while for the reopening to have an impact.”

Kudlow discussed the measures to stabilize the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out that the stimulus bills approved by President Donald Trump are the largest in history. However, he pushed back against the suggestion that another stimulus package needs to be introduced.

“I think that many people would like to pause for a moment and take a look at the economic impact of (the initial) massive assistance program,” he said.

As ABC News notes, House Democrats have proposed an additional stimulus bill. The legislation includes financial help for state governments and has a $2 trillion price tag.

Kudlow also weighed in on the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, defending the president from criticism. The White House adviser pushed back against former President Barack Obama’s suggestion that the response has been “chaotic,” arguing that Trump and his allies are dealing with an unprecedented situation.

Senate Democrats have advocated for more direct cash payments. Notably, Senators Kamala Harris of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts have voiced support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan. Sanders is calling for monthly $2,000 stimulus payments for every American.

According to Sanders, the American people are “hurting in a way that we have never ever seen in our lifetimes,” which is why such payments are necessary. Senate Republicans and Kudlow have pushed back against the senator’s suggestion, however, with Kudlow recently stating that the negotiations between the two sides will not begin until June.

Trump has insisted that the economy needs to reopen as soon as possible, but according to some experts the administration’s response has been inadequate. On Saturday, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman slammed Trump and the Republican Party as “quitters,” arguing that they have “put a hold on policy” instead of dealing with the crisis.