As America continues its gradual economic reopening following months of coronavirus-related shutdowns, one official who has been an integral part of that process is set to exit the Trump administration.
Top economic adviser Kevin Hassett has announced he will be stepping down from his post within the next few weeks, according to the Washington Examiner.
The White House has had a notable issue with turnover among high-ranking staff throughout President Donald Trump’s first term.
An adviser during troubling times
While the reasons vary, Hassett is just the latest adviser to leave his position. He joined the administration as the pandemic began to threaten the nation’s economy.
According to Axios, another top expert — National Economic Council member Andrew Olmem — submitted his resignation, which took effect on Friday.
Hassett has been a consistent voice defending Trump in the media and has served as a sounding board for the administration’s attempt to revive an economy that was thriving just months ago.
With tens of millions of Americans unemployed and the threat of a second COVID-19 wave this fall still looming, he has warned that the U.S. jobless rate could hit 23%.
“We’re not going to close the country”
Trump has vowed he would not shut the economy down again if the virus resurges. Even as cases began to spike in many states over recent weeks, the president reiterated his previous comments on the matter.
“We won’t be closing the country again,” he said in a Fox News Channel interview. “We won’t have to do that.”
His latest remarks echoed his acknowledgment in May that a second wave is a “very distinct possibility” in response to a question during his tour of a Michigan auto manufacturing plant.
“It’s standard,” Trump said. “And we’re going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country. We’re going to put out the fires.”
As his administration continues pursuing the goal of putting out fires that have flared up in all regions of the nation, Hassett will no longer be around to provide regular briefings and advice. Regardless of the reason for his exit, Americans of all stripes hope his absence from the conversation will not make the process even more difficult than it already is.