- President Donald Trump berated a journalist’s “mean tone” after asking him to clarify comments made by his son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner the day before.
- Weijia Jiang of CBS News asked Trump to explain Kushner’s apparent claim the day before that the national strategic stock was not intended for the states, but rather for the federal government.
- The stock was created to supplement state medical supplies during a health crisis or biochemical attack.
- “It’s a simple, basic question and you’re trying to make it so bad,” said Trump, adding, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “
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President Donald Trump berated journalists at a briefing on Friday evening of the White House Coronavirus task force for asking him to clarify the confusing statements made by Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and his son-in-law, at a press conference the day before.
Weijia Jiang of CBS News asked Trump to explain Kushner’s apparent assertion that the strategic national stock, a national supply of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment reserved for a health crisis, was intended for the federal government but not for States.
Kushner said Thursday that “the notion of federal stock is that it is supposed to be our stock – it is not meant to be state stocks that they use next.”
It was Kushner’s assertion that the resource was “our stock” that caused confusion, as it seemed to imply that the stock was not intended for States to use, even though the program was in fact intended for supplement state supplies during a health or biochemical activity. crisis, as the Washington Post explained.
White House reporters repeatedly asked Trump for clarification of Kushner’s remarks during the briefing, but when Jiang read Kushner’s quote to the president, he became confrontational.
” Why do you ask? Trump replied before she could finish her question, saying it was a “perverse” question.
—11th hour (@ 11thHour) April 3, 2020
“Do you know what” our “means? The United States of America is what it means, “said Trump. “And then we take this” ours “and distribute it to the states. “
As Jiang tried to press him into what Kushner’s wording means to the states, Trump began to reprimand his interrogation.
“This is a simple, basic question and you are trying to make it sound so wrong,” said Trump. “You should have, you should be ashamed, you know what? You should be ashamed. “
“You said” our “and” our “means for the country, and” our “means for the states because the states are part of the country,” continued Trump. “Don’t make it sound bad.” “
The president then called another reporter, but as Jiang tried to continue, Trump told him, “You just asked your question in a very mean tone. “
A second reporter, a man, followed up on Jiang’s question, asking, ” [the stockpile] designed to be able to distribute to states? “
“It is also necessary for the federal government,” said Trump. “We have a federal stock and they have state stocks, and frankly, a lot of states were completely unprepared for this. So we had to get into the federal stock. But we are not an order clerk. They must have for themselves. “
Journalists sought clarification on Kushner’s words the day before
Kushner had caused confusion at a briefing on Thursday when he appeared to imply that the national strategic stock was not intended for public use.
“You also have a situation where, in some states, FEMA has allocated fans to the states, and you have cases where, in the cities, they are exhausted, but the state still has a stock,” he said. he declares.
Kushner continued, “And the notion of federal stock was that it was supposed to be our stock – it’s not supposed to be state stocks that they then use. “
“So we encourage states to make sure they assess the needs, get the data for their local situation, and then try to fill it with the supplies that we have provided,” said Kusher.
Journalists from the GQ and the Washington Post said on Friday that the language of the Department of Health and Human Services website had been changed to reflect Kushner’s wording.
—Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) April 3, 2020
The stock was invented by President Bill Clinton, who in 1998 pushed for the creation of the stock after reading a novel about a fictional bioterrorism event, TIME reported.
A 2001 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described the National Strategic Stockpile, then known as the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS), as “a national repository for pharmaceuticals, antidotes to chemical poisons, supplies for the administration of drugs and emergency medical equipment for rapid deployment to the site of biological or chemical terrorism. The NPS program is designed to complement and replenish national and local public health agencies in the event of an incident of biological or chemical terrorism anywhere, anytime in the United States or its United States. territories. “
While it is clear that the stock was maintained by the federal government, it was also clearly designed to supplement and supply the states during a crisis.