John Harwood on Staggering Jobless Claims: ‘A Nuclear Bomb’ Has ‘Been Dropped on the American Economy’


CNN’s John Harwood said the massive surge in jobless claims last week, totaling some 6 million, has a simple explanation: we dropped a “nuclear bomb” on the economy.

“This thing is not complicated. It is not subtle. We have pulled the plug out from the American economy and the result is an economic catastrophe,” Harwood said on CNN’s New Day Thursday morning.

A record-breaking 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, according to a dismal new jobs report, as the coronavirus continues to freeze the U.S. economy.

“How long is it going to last? That depends on the public health answer to this situation,” the White House correspondent continued. “You know, we’ve talked about in the past, in the last few days, certainly when we had last week’s numbers, that the federal response, both in terms of the federal reserve and the fiscal response from Congress, is like relief efforts during a hurricane. This is a nuclear bomb that has been dropped on the American economy.”

Harwood predicted that the new numbers “are going to change some of the political discussion of this going forward.” He noted that on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed ideas floated by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for a “Phase 4” stimulus bill that would include massive infrastructure spending.

“There are millions of people right now who are without the means to support themselves. Yes, there is some fiscal help on the way, but on the way is not the same as being here right now. It’s devastating.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin