White House economist Jared Bernstein on Friday dismissed criticism of Larry Summers’ Biden administration’s COVID relief plan, saying the former Treasury chief is “completely wrong” on a key point. Summers’ Washington Post op-ed on Thursday titled, “Biden’s Stimulus Is Admirably Ambitious. But it also carries great risks, ”he argues that the proposed $ 1.9 trillion package could have negative consequences for the US economy. Summers issues a warning about “inflationary pressures of a kind we haven’t seen in a generation” and says administration officials rule out “even the possibility of inflation.”
Now watch: 7 charts show how COVID transformed everyday life Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, Bernstein defended the size of the package, saying Summers is misinterpreting the administration’s thinking. “It is absolutely wrong for our team, let’s quote, to neglect inflationary risks,” said Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. “Janet Yellen is our Secretary of the Treasury,” Bernstein added. “She knows something about inflationary risks,” he said of the former Federal Reserve chair. Bernstein spoke after President Joe Biden made his final pitch for the plan. Biden asked Republicans to support the plan, but strongly suggested Friday that he would not wait for the Republican Party to provide votes. Biden’s proposals include $ 1,400 stimulus checks, $ 160 billion for vaccines and tests, and $ 350 billion for states and cities. Read: Biden says he could deliver a $ 1.9 trillion aid package without Republican support. US stocks SPX, + 0.27% on Friday remained near record highs, even as the latest employment data showed a disappointing rise in employment in January.