The White House’s top three economic advisors are on deck this morning to push the president’s new message: The worst has passed and it’s time to reopen for business. Steve Mnuchin will chat with “Fox News Sunday,” Larry Kudlow will talk to “This Week,” and Kevin Hassett will discuss with “Face the Nation” and “State of the Union.” All three will be pressed on whether the worst of the epidemic really is behind us and what they foresee in the next round of fiscal relief. Maybe … nothing?
(Reuters) – The White House will not consider any further stimulus legislation this month as it eyes the economic impact from reopening U.S. states, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters on Friday, adding that formal talks with Congress have paused
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) May 8, 2020
Cutting off aid to wary business owners on grounds that it’s time to reopen, knowing that they’re unlikely to see enough consumer demand to keep them afloat, sounds like a recipe for political disaster to me but what do I know. Hassett will also be pressed on what was up with that graph that he was reportedly circulating within the White House showing daily deaths dropping to zero by mid-May. That was a big misunderstanding, he told the press a few days ago. All he did was use an Excel spreadsheet to try to better visualize the IHME model. Okay, but the IHME model itself has lost some credibility at this point for its too-rosy death projections. Why keep relying on it?
Speaking of which, the head of the IHME, Christopher Murray, will follow Hassett on “Face the Nation” to defend his work product.
There are only a few politicians on this morning, most notably Mike DeWine of Ohio. DeWine was aggressive in shutting down and now he’s being aggressive in reopening his home state. He’ll talk with “Fox News Sunday” about his plan. The most interesting guests may be the pharmaceutical execs booked to discuss the timeline for their work on developing treatments for COVID-19 and ultimately a vaccine. Keep an eye out on “This Week” for Dr. Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, who’ll be discussing the billion-dollar effort to fast-track production of his company’s vaccine candidate next year. Two top dogs from Regeneron will also be on this morning, one on “This Week” and the other on “State of the Union,” to chat about their progress in developing antibody drugs. If those drugs work they could lead to much faster (and frequent) recoveries from COVID-19 and maybe even provide a short-term prophylaxis until a true vaccine is ready. Human tests are coming next month.
The full line-up is at the AP.