White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow speaks with reporters on the driveway outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, July 26, 2019.

Yuri Gripas | Reuters

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Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic advisor, told CNBC on Friday that he doesn’t want to “panic on policy measures” designed to combat the coronavirus and said that U.S. growth remains strong.

“We would prefer a targeted approach, a rather micro approach,” Kudlow said. “Let’s think about individuals who might lose paychecks because they have to stay home if they get the virus. Let’s think about small businesses that might get hurt by this.”

“I just don’t want to panic. I don’t want to panic on the economy, which looks sound. I don’t want to panic on the virus, which frankly, most Americans are not at risk. And I don’t want to panic on policy measures. Let’s try to be calm and not overreact,” he added.

Kudlow explained that the White House would rather take a more measured response to the virus and hold off on measures that could disrupt local economies such as large-scale quarantines. 

“Can we possibly do this fact by fact, day by day? Because we don’t know what the magnitude of the economy might be in terms of a slowdown,” he added. “We don’t actually know what the magnitude of the virus is going to be. Although, frankly, so far it looks relatively contained.”

In response to the spread of the new coronavirus around the world, Trump last week authorized the expansion of travel restrictions against Iran and the recommendation that Americans refrain from visiting regions of Italy and South Korea impacted by the disease.

Those measures followed the White House’s move in January to deny entry to any foreign nationals who have traveled in China, where COVID-19 began.

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