Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday tried to play down fears of a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, even as officials from the Centers for Disease Control were warning lawmakers that the problem was very likely to get worse.
While appearing on CNBC, Kudlow said that Americans shouldn't worry about the virus's impact because the Trump administration had it almost totally under control.
"We have contained this, I won't say airtight, but pretty close to airtight," Kudlow said.
The Trump adviser also downplayed the possibility that the virus outbreak would hurt the American economy, even though it could grind economic activity in China down to a halt.
"There will be some stumbles," he admitted. "We’re looking at numbers; it’s a little iffy... But at the moment, the numbers that we’re looking at... there’s no supply disruptions out there yet.”
Kudlow's rosy assessment of the situation contradicts statements made just hours earlier by Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.
"It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen," Messonnier said of the disease spreading to the United States. "We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."