White House Economic Advisor On Bolton Book And Economic Recovery

The White House is considering multiple plans for continued economic recovery and COVID-19 response. Ava DeSantis writes on Kevin Hassetts’ insights.


 

White House Economic Advisor, Kevin Hassett, shared his views about John Bolton’s controversial book, and the continued plans of the Trump administration for economic recovery. The Administration holds that economic reopening is necessary, and maybe even not a threat to public health. There are no concrete plans for aiding American workers or businesses to recover economically from the shut-down period.

On Bolton’s Book

Hassett spoke this morning about  Bolton’s controversial book saying that he is “disappointed in John Bolton’s book.” 

He added that he didn’t think that Bolton was “that kind of guy that would turn on his friends like that.” Hassett insisted that Trump’s team was “a joy to work with.” He did caveat, however, that he spent no significant amount of time working with Bolton: “The national security matters were not a focus of mine when I was here and John was here… It’s just that we were operating on different, different topics, almost always.”

Kevin Hassett: I did not think that Bolton was that kind of guy that would turn on his friends like that.

Bolton’s book officially releases to the public on June 23rd and already it stirred intense controversy. The book alleges that President Trump solicited 2020 election interference from the Chinese leadership. 

Other current White House staffers responded similarly to Hassett. Peter Navarro, an economic assistant to the President, said “he is doing it for the money, it is pretty clear.”

On economic recovery

Hassett said the reopening of the U.S. economy is essential. “The option of keeping the economy shut was just not on the table. It was not possible, because I don’t think that the US economy could recover from being shut for three or four or five or six months,” he said. 

Hassett also questioned the relationship between reopening state economies and increased COVID-19 cases. 

“There are about 18 states where positivity rates are increasing. Those states are not just the states that are open. Oregon, Hawaii, had a 174% increase, according to the chart I got this morning,” he claimed.

The Institute for Health and Metrics at Washington State University said their research indicated a direct connection between “rising mobility” in US states, “easing social distancing guidelines,” and increased COVID-19 cases. Despite health concerns, Hassett praised the NBA’s plan to reschedule games at Disneyworld, as important to “help American morale.” This plan sets games to begin in Orlando on July 30th. 

Before leaving the gaggle to enter the White House, Hassett floated two possibilities for economic recovery: President Trump currently considers payroll tax cuts and/or the expansion or continuing of unemployment insurance. Regardless of the plan chosen, Hassett vouched for Trump’s intention to create a strong economy, regardless of the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. “I’ve never seen him mention the election in any economic meeting,” said Hassett.

 


 

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