Larry Kudlow decries a CNN anchor for 'nitpicking' when she details his disastrous record of coronavirus predictions

Larry Kudlow decries a CNN anchor for 'nitpicking' when she details his disastrous record of coronavirus predictions
Image via Screengrab.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow is among the allies of President Donald Trump who has a history of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. And when CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Kudlow on Friday morning, she listed example after example of Kudlow underestimating the threat that COVID-19 posed to the United States The 72-year-old Republican, in turn, grew defensive and accused Harlow of “nitpicking.”

“I’m wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic,” Harlow told Kudlow. “Back on February 25, you said: it’s pretty close to air-tight. February 28: ‘it’s not going to sink the American economy.’ March 6: ‘let’s not overreact. America should stay at work.’ And just on June 12: ‘there is no emergency, there is no second wave.’ But since June 12, 45,978 Americans have died from COVID.”

Kudlow responded, “On June 12, when I said that, what I also said: it’s not a second wave, it’s part of the first wave — and that comes from our health scientists.”

The NEC director went on tell Harlow, “In February — late February — I didn’t make a forecast. I didn’t say it would. I said: at that time, as a matter of fact, there are fewer than 20 cases. And a lot of people, across the spectrum — doctors and others who made the same case —  there are even people who said it wouldn’t be worse than an ordinary flu. My point then was: there were fewer than 20 cases. Now, as those numbers deteriorated rapidly, I, of course, changed my mind in accordance with the facts.”

Kudlow added, “I kind of resent your little nitpicking here” — to which Harlow responded, “I’m not nitpicking, Larry. I think people listen to you and the president. They listen to you and the president when you say things about the pandemic.”

Kudlow reiterated his “fewer than 20 cases” comment, inspiring Harlow to note that “on June 12, there were a lot of cases.”

Kudlow and Harlow also butted heads over the damage that coronavirus has inflicted on the U.S. economy. Kudlow, during the interview, claimed that unemployment benefits are a disincentive for Americans to return to work — citing a University of Chicago study. But Harlow shot back that she has interviewed the author of that study, stressing that it doesn’t bear out his claims about unemployment benefits.

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