WASHINGTON, June 25: One of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers, Larry Kudlow, said that even though the number of new coronavirus cases is approaching its all-time high, there are no plans to shut down the economy.
“The fatality rate continues to fall. We don’t see any upturn in the fatality rate,” said Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council.
“We’re going to have hot spots. No question. We have them now in, you know, Texas and parts of the south, the Carolinas, Arizona, we just have to live with that,” he said.
Texas has emerged as one of the nation’s biggest coronavirus hotspots, reporting more than 11,000 new cases in the past two days alone.
Arizona reported 3,056 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the fourth day in a week in which the state had daily increases of over 3,000 cases.
The U.S. has greatly ramped up testing in the past few months, and it is now presumably finding many less-serious cases that would have gone undetected earlier in the outbreak, when the availability of testing was limited and sicker people were often given priority.
The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits last week declined slightly to 1.48 million, indicating layoffs are slowing but are still painfully high.
The virus has been blamed for over 120,000 U.S. deaths — the highest toll in the world — and more than 2.3 million confirmed infections nationwide. On Wednesday, the widely cited University of Washington computer model of the outbreak projected nearly 180,000 U.S. deaths by Oct. 1.