Kevin Hassett, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, is voicing concern about the future of the economy, warning that “everyone should be worried.” The statement comes as Hassett is preparing to leave the White House after joining the Trump team to offer assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Hassett explained that his departure from Washington is not a bad omen, but rather a result of his three-month position coming to an end.
The adviser’s specific roles included helping the administration to sift through data on the virus, as well as coordinating the White House’s economic and health teams. He had previously served as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from September 2017 to June 2019.
“When I came back, nobody knew where the ventilators were or how many we were going to need — there were a million data-intensive questions I came back to help out with…They needed an extra set of hands,” Hassett explained.
“Now, [data analysis is] functioning as normally as possible because we’ve built the tools you need.”
In addition to helping organize the administration’s data and analysis, Hassett had also been a strong proponent of a large phase four economic package, which he believed should include direct payments to individuals and extending unemployment benefits.
However, though Hassett claimed that the COVID-19 crisis is finally under control, he was less optimistic about the nation’s economic future. Lockdown measures have had a devastating effect on the country, including record unemployment numbers and a bearish economy.
“I think everyone should be worried about how this is going to turn out in the end, because it’s a shock unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Hassett warned.
However, the economic adviser did point to some good news amidst the gloomy forecasts. For example, Hassett said that he was pleasantly shocked by the “massive” uptick in a number of economic data points, such as credit card spending. Recent reports have shown that 17 states are either matching or outspending their levels from a year ago.
“Certainly, the crisis is not over — and there’s a lot of work to do,” Hassett said.
“But there’s an incredibly competent team in place to do it.”
Meanwhile, a CNBC contributor has claimed that the coronavirus bailouts might have a more catastrophic effect on the economy than the virus and lockdown measures.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya said that the decision to pump trillions of dollars into the economy was not only a “drunken binge,” but would have serious consequences for the future.