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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow called out CNN’s Poppy Harlow over her “nitpicking” about coronavirus health claims.
Kudlow pushed back at the CNN anchor during a heated clash as she questioned the success of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 safety protocols and accused the economist of making incorrect statements about the pandemic.
Harlow confronted Kudlow on the administration’s contention that continuing the weekly federal unemployment benefit would create a “disincentive” for Americans to go back to work.
“Why do you think that’s a disincentive for people to go back to work?” Harlow said. “What evidence do you have?”
“What evidence?” Kudlow shot back. “The University of Chicago said two-thirds of the people now have higher unemployment benefits than their wage.”
“But Larry,” Harlow interrupted. “The University of Chicago study … it doesn’t conclude what you’re arguing.”
“I know you don’t want to incentivize people to go to work when it’s a dangerous situation for them to go because the virus is not under control,” she said.
“Poppy, I would love to finish my sentence,” Kudlow told the CNN host.
“We’ve never had a situation where unemployment benefits exceeded wages by a significant amount. Now, mind you, the states will continue their unemployment benefits. That’s a good thing. We think we can create a much better balance to provide incentives to come back to work, and most of all we want to reward people,” Trump’s top economic adviser explained.
“It’s a mistake to draw the conclusion, as you have been and the White House has been, that right now it’s a disincentive to go back to work,” Harlow argued, telling Kudlow that she had spoken to one of the authors of the study.
“We can argue one academic versus another, I think history shows this is probably not sustainable in the long term,” Kudlow said.
Harlow went on to read an email from someone who said she wanted to return to work but was afraid to do so because she felt it was still unsafe due to the coronavirus.
“We’re the ones offering payments, benefits, rewards for going back to work,” Kudlow said. “So I agree with that point of view.”
“Larry, it’s not safe!” Harlow exclaimed. “It’s not safe for a number of people to go back to work! That’s what I’m saying!”
“We have emphasized guidelines time and time again,” Kudlow fired back. “Distancing and masking, testing where applicable, and good hygiene, washing your hands. This has to be part of anything.”
“So wouldn’t a federal mask mandate make a lot of sense?” Harlow asked, prompting the economist to respond that “we think that people should act responsibly as individuals.”
But Harlow continued to expose the liberal narrative as she then confronted the 72-year-old director of the National Economic Council on his past remarks.
“I’m wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic,” Harlow said, citing several examples of what she claimed were his downplaying of the severity of the virus.
“I kind of resent your little nitpicking here because I don’t know what that has to do with today’s job numbers,” he said.
“I’m not nitpicking, Larry,” Harlow responded. “I think people listen to you and the president when you say things about the pandemic and the economy.”
“I think, again, the health guidelines that we have put out are in fact working,” Kudlow said. “So I’m keeping my fingers crossed, maybe prayerfully, that we’ve seen the worst of this extension so we’ll see what happens.”
Viewers slammed the CNN segment and Harlow for openly stoking fear and shamelessly displaying bias.
CNN is no longer journalism…its a fear porn channel
— iammix 🔔 (@iammix24) August 7, 2020
It’d be nice if CNN could hire people who weren’t partisan hacks.
— Patriot Covfefe (@zoochum) August 7, 2020
Utter blatant unobjectivity from @PoppyHarlowCNN – she should be removed from the airwaves.
— Lee Hernly (@LeeHernly) August 7, 2020
As a journalist and interviewer, is it her job to destroy her guests’ arguments or to ask them questions to try to understand their stance on a particular topic?
It seems to me that she has an agenda.
— FlyHighToday (@DUDLEYCOXWELL) August 7, 2020
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