Comments from Trump's economic adviser run counter to efforts by health experts asking the public to actively prepare for outbreaks in their communities.
From a March 6 appearance on CNBC:
LARRY KUDLOW, director of the National Economic Council: I don't want to downplay anything. I'm worried about the effect on human beings, for heaven's sake. But I'm just saying let's not overreact. In many ways, America should stay at work. We should stay at work.
DAVID FABER, CNBC anchor: A lot of the health professionals that I speak to — Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner — would say very different things.
In particular about Seattle and about the government response that needs to actually take place, and how we need to be a lot more formidable in our response.
And statements like the ones that you just made ...
KUDLOW: Well, Scott's a brilliant guy.
FABER: ... are actually encouraging people to do things that they shouldn't ...
KUDLOW: Scott's a brilliant guy.
FABER: ... and that will actually cause the spread of the virus as opposed to it stopping.
KUDLOW: Well, that's not what I — look, Scott Gottlieb is a brilliant guy, and he's a friend of mine. With respect to Seattle, all right, that would be a place you would avoid for now.
And Gavin Newsom, Gov. Newsom, declaring California an emergency state, especially northern California, I understand that. Avoid it. Exercise common sense.
But the rest of the country is not suffering from those kinds of breakouts. At least not yet. I don't want to suggest it might not occur in the future. We're just trying to do this a day at a time, a fact at a time, if you will.
And really, the overriding numbers, most Americans are not at risk. And as I say, 80% of Americans, if you get the infection, are going to come out just fine, and some people have it and don't even know it cause they get through it in a week or two.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now actively warning people across the country to prepare for potential outbreaks in their community by creating household plans, while advising people who think they may have been exposed to the virus to follow the advice of health care experts when told to stay home.
The agency has also recommended that employers "actively encourage sick employees to stay home," encourage good cough-and-sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene at the workplace.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.