White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow Friday disputed concerns voiced by two Federal Reserve officials who warned this week of economic worries as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge across the county.
"I do not think the economy is slowing down," Kudlow said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "Let me be more precise. People are mistaking the unemployment claims, the initial unemployment claims. In this pandemic, the best number to use is continuing claims, plus the pandemic employment assistance program."
He added that he doesn't see a slowdown, and he thinks there will be a "pretty good number" in a few weeks for the month of November.
Thursday, Loretta Mester of the Cleveland Fed and Robert Kaplan of the Dallas Fed told Bloomberg Television in separate interviews they are concerned about the economy, without saying in detail what more the Fed would be able to do to help it, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Mester also said she's concerned about the lack of a fiscal relief package, adding that a policy that could be targeted to households and small businesses that really need aid could help.
Kudlow said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are working with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on repurposing unused funds for targeted support for small businesses and more.
"Housing is booming, consumer spending is booming, automobiles are booming, just booming," said Kudlow. "It is a strong V-shaped recovery ... there are pandemic risks, virus hotspot risks, I get that. All I'm saying is what we know on jobs and housing and retailing and cars and other areas, the economy is very hot."
He also disputed numbers showing that the economy is actually starting to flatten out, because "since May we've had 18 million reductions in unemployment claims of all kinds continuing in the pandemic. I'm not sure I get that particular chart. Look, 12 1/2 million new jobs have been added back. We're 50% of the way home."
But he did "admit there is hardship, there is virus risk, there's no question about that. We're following it very closely."
He also disagreed with claims that Operation Warp Speed has been slowed because of the contention over the presidential election.
"The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] will move real fast," he said. "It is likely we'll have perhaps as much as 20 million vaccine packages in play before December is over and maybe more."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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