President Trump's top economic adviser called for coronavirus relief efforts aimed at the unemployed to end in July. In an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Larry Kudlow called the $600 weekly payments being made as part of unemployment benefits during coronavirus quarantines a “disincentive” and said they would hold people back from going back to work.

“The $600 plus-up, that's above the state unemployment benefits that they will continue to receive, is in effect a disincentive,” Kudlow said. “I mean, we’re paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get. That might have worked for the first of couple months. It will end in late July.”

Kudlow said that with more and more businesses expected to reopen in July, a lot of people currently receiving these payments will be returning to work anyway.

“I think we are on our way,” said Kudlow, while claiming the U.S. in the "recovery stage."

“We are reopening. Businesses are coming back and therefore jobs are coming back. And we don't want to interfere with that process."

Kudlow spoke positively about the benefits to the Payroll Protection Program, calling it "a huge success" for its $500 billion in forgivable loans.

When pressed about his characterization of these checks as disincentives, Kudlow appeared to contradict himself and said that he agreed that many people were eager to return to their jobs. He then cited anecdotal evidence from individual businesses to back up his earlier assertion that the checks would keep people from returning to work.

Kudlow has stressed that unemployment benefits will continue.

The Federal Reserve released a report last week that said the official unemployment rate, which fell to 13.3% in May from 14.7% in April, may not fully capture the overall health of the labor market during the coronavirus.

“The distinction between being unemployed and out of the labor force likely has become especially blurred,” the report said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defends an expeditious reopening of the US economy
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defends an expeditious reopening of the US economy AFP / MANDEL NGAN