Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, President Trump's top economic advisor Larry Kudlow discussed how the administration is planning to reopen parts of the U.S. economy as soo as possible.
QUESTION: If the administration is serious about restarting the economy or a part of it next week, why is there a need for $2 trillion bailout?
LARRY KUDLOW: Listen, I want to be careful here because the president has put this out there, talked to a bunch of us. If we can target zones where the virus is less prevalent and things are safe, we are not abandoning the health professionals advice, but there is a clamor to try to reopen the economy and perhaps I'll call it less of a shut-in. And so that's one piece. That's yet to be determined, but it's one piece that's being looked at.
We--we still are going to need the assistance because in the next week or two or three, you're still going to have a lot of hot zones, you're still going to a lot have shut-ins. There is no miracle here. We're not just, you know, flipping a switch. So the assistance is so vital.
Let me tell you, you know, it's $2 trillion program and $4 trillion of lending power from the Fed. That's a $6 trillion package. And by the way, the Fed can't act fully unless we pass phase 2 because of phase 2 contains the increase in the exchange stabilization fund, which is the equity piece for the Fed lending so that the U.S. government is the guarantor, not the Fed. So those two packages go together.
6 trillion, by the way, is about almost a third of the economy. It's a very big number and it covers, as you know, small businesses, payrolls, unemployment, and so forth. So we need that. We need that and that, in effect, will hopefully perhaps the word is bolster or maintain the economy. So yeah, business going well beginning of the year, comes alive in the summer. We want that business to survive. You have people working. We want the workers to survive, first of all, and their families, but in order to keep good jobs, you've got to have good company, right?
QUESTION: Mr. Kudlow--
KUDLOW: --So the whole thing works together. It's not either/or.