Trump Bringing Back Former Top Economist Hassett as Adviser

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is bringing back the former chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett.

Hassett will advise Trump on economic matters in light of the coronavirus outbreak, he told CNN. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the move.

Hassett said Thursday on CNN that the U.S. public should expect massive job losses as a result of the outbreak.

“People are really sure that there are going to be numbers in the sort of the 2 million range by the April number,” he said. “By April you’re going to see the worst jobs number you ever saw, and that’s like a virtual certainty.”

He also said that Americans may need to return to work before the outbreak subsides -- “maybe it is people work with masks on and things like that” -- or else the economy will risk entering a depression.

Hassett said earlier this week that the odds of a global recession are close to 100% and that second quarter growth in the U.S. could contract by as much as 5%.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday warned Senate Republicans that without significant congressional action, the U.S. outbreak could lead to unemployment in the country as high as 20%.

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