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Larry Kudlow says a second wave of coronavirus cases 'isn't coming'

Key Points
  • Kudlow said he isn't too concerned about resurgences of Covid-19 cases in several states around the country.
  • "There is no second wave coming. It's just hot spots. They send in CDC teams, we've got the testing procedures, we've got the diagnostics," he said.
  • His comments came after the U.S. reported more than 30,000 new infections on Friday and Saturday, the highest daily totals since May 1.
  • Kudlow also discussed the odds of another fiscal stimulus package from Congress and the White House.
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White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow doesn't expect second wave of Covid-19

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Monday that a "second wave" of coronavirus cases isn't coming and that lawmakers will likely develop another stimulus package by the end of next month.

Asked by "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick how he's thinking about resurgences of Covid-19 cases in several states, Kudlow said he isn't too concerned.

"There is no second wave coming. It's just hot spots. They send in CDC teams, we've got the testing procedures, we've got the diagnostics, we've got the PPE. And so I really think it's a pretty good situation," said Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump.

"Actually, I think nationwide the positivity rate is still quite low, well under 10%." 

His comments came after the U.S. reported more than 30,000 new infections on Friday and Saturday, the highest daily totals since May 1, according to Johns Hopkins University data. New cases are rising in states in the South, West and Midwest, including Florida and South Carolina, which last week broke their single-day totals three days in a row. 

Health officials have warned that upswings in new cases appear clustered among younger people who are flocking to bars and social gatherings. The World Health Organization on Friday warned that the pandemic has entered a "new and dangerous phase" as the disease accelerates in new locations globally and rises in areas that have begun to ease protective rules.

But Kudlow reiterated that the resurgence in the national numbers is concentrated in a handful of "hot spots" including Florida, Arizona and Nevada, and said he isn't worried about a broader return of the virus.

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Coronavirus cases surge in the United States, Brazil and Germany

"There are some hot spots. We're on it. We know how to deal with this stuff now, we've come a long way from last winter," he said.

This isn't the first time the economic advisor has tried to strike an optimistic tone about the course of the pandemic. 

Kudlow told CNBC in late February that the U.S. government had already suppressed the coronavirus and that while the disease was a "human tragedy," it wouldn't likely become an "economic tragedy." At that time, health officials had reported fewer than 60 cases of the virus in the U.S. with most thought to be a result of an outbreak on a cruise ship.

"We have contained this. I won't say [it's] airtight, but it's pretty close to airtight," Kudlow told CNBC on Feb. 25. "There will be some stumbles. We're looking at numbers; it's a little iffy. ... But at the moment ... there's no supply disruptions out there yet."

Less than one month later, Kudlow said on March 23 that he'd "changed my view" on whether the U.S. had successfully contained the pandemic.

The virus has killed more than 100,000 Americans and the U.S. economy has entered a recession since Kudlow's comments in February, according to Johns Hopkins University data and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Kudlow's comments Monday morning also came a day after White House trade advisor Peter Navarro CNN that the administration is, in fact, preparing for a comeback in the disease.

"We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall. We are doing everything we can beneath the surface, working as hard as we possibly can,'' Navarro told CNN. "You prepare — you prepare for what can possibly happen. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but of course you prepare."

Mr. Kudlow discussed Monday the odds of another fiscal stimulus package from Congress and the White House.

While no final decisions have been made as to the content of any bill, it's "highly likely" that the House, Senate and White House will coordinate on some form of economic relief after the July recess, he added.

Kudlow listed several things Trump has mentioned as possible items in a future economic support bill.

"Things the president has talked about publicly. He has talked about a payroll tax holiday for the workforce, he's occasionally talked about capital gains tax relief," Kudlow said.

"He wants to help out with some form of tax relief. Restaurants, entertainment, athletic contests, things of that sort," he added. "We want to help out the tourism business, which has been hurt very badly. We also want to reward people who are reemploying, who are going back to work."

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