Topline: White House senior advisor Jared Kushner spoke for the first time at the White House coronavirus press conference on Thursday, coming out behind the scenes as a key player in the coronavirus response to the White House.
- During his first appearance at the briefing, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump said that he was in charge of the White House’s efforts to provide states with medical equipment such as masks and respirators.
- Healthcare workers and some governors, including Andrew Cuomo of New York, criticized the White House for not doing enough to take control of the supply chain to allocate resources, leaving some states to compete for it same equipment due to shortages.
- Responding to state concerns about shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment, Kushner said states don’t know what inventory they have. Behind the scenes, he said New York doesn’t need as many fans as he says, according to Vanity Fair.
- Kushner has been working as a key person for the White House coronavirus response since mid-March, New york times reported, but made no public statement or appearance before Thursday.
Crucial quote: “Some governors you talk to or senators, and they don’t know what’s in their state. You have to do the inventory in your own state and you have to show that there is a real need, “said Kushner.
Key context: After the Trump administration was criticized by public health experts for failing to act quickly enough to fight the virus, Kushner continued to coordinate even though he was not a public health expert. His methods have been reviewed since then.
To help research, a family connection – the father of model Karlie Kloss, who is married to Josh Kushner, Jared’s brother – asked a Facebook group of doctors on March 13 on how the federal government should respond to the crisis, saying it had a “direct line” to the White House.
Trump also pissed off Jared Kushner for exaggerating the promise of a website created by Google for coronavirus testing, Vanity Fair reported, which led the President to distort the distance traveled by the website. A company co-founded by Josh Kushner ended up creating a similar website that directs people to government’s coronavirus testing options, according to to the Atlantc, but the project has been abandoned.