Top Trump advisor who downplayed coronavirus exits White House

Top Trump advisor who downplayed coronavirus exits White House
Image via Screengrab.

A top Trump advisor who helped the administration with its efforts to downplay the scope and toll of the coronavirus pandemic is quitting – again. Kevin Hassett, Senior Advisor to the President for Economic Issues, will be leaving the White House this summer after re-joining the administration in March.

Hassett returned to help navigate the disastrous economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the wake of Trump’s mismanagement. His exit is predicted to make it less likely a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package will make it through Congress and be signed into law, according to Axios.

But Hassett’s work actually helped Trump to try to downplay the toll of the coronavirus, according to reporting by The Washington Post, and he “has been cautious about the health dangers of COVID-19, promoting the use of face masks,” Axios notes.

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman noted that Hassett’s “team produced an analysis Trump aides interpreted as implying a much lower death toll.”

Hassett is currently serving in an unpaid role.

He previously served as the Chair of President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors, when he was blasted for calling weeks of federal employees being furloughed during a government shutdown, “the vacation.”

“They can’t go to work, and so then they have the vacation,” Hassett declared in January of 2019, to much outrage.

Last month Hassett was also blasted after calling workers, many of whom were also furloughed, “human capital stock.”

“Our human capital stock is ready to get back to work,” Hassett said on-air. “So there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get back to work way faster than we have in previous crises.”

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