National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Sunday the economic fallout from the U.S. coronavirus crisis could last weeks or months, warning that he “can’t wave a magic wand” to repair the financial damage.

“We still believe it’s going to be a question of weeks and months, hopefully weeks — maybe I should say ‘prayerfully’ weeks, but we think we can get through this period,” said Mr. Kudlow on ABC’s “This Week.”

By “weeks,” he said he meant “it could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks. I say that hopefully, and I say that prayerfully. That’s what some of the science experts are telling us. I don’t know if they’ll be right.”

He said that individuals would begin to receive direct checks from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed by President Trump in the next two weeks, while loans to small businesses would be ready for processing by Friday.

“You can’t have a good job unless you have a healthy business,” Mr. Kudlow said. “And what we’ve tried to do is provide tremendous, tremendous assistance to the individual men and women, and therefore on the other side, tremendous assistance to the small businesses for which they work. We’re trying to balance this out.”

Unemployment claims surged last week to 3.3 million as businesses, schools and non-essential workplaces shut down in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 as the total number of U.S. positive tests nears 125,000.

Mr. Kudlow called the stimulus package “the largest mainstream financial assistant package in the history of the United States,” covering one-third of Gross Domestic Product, but said he could not guarantee that the economic pain won’t be long-term.

“I can’t guarantee it. I can’t wave a magic wand. I wish I could,” he said. “I’ve spent all my career being an optimist and trying to promote economic growth.”

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