The president was uneasy about making preparations for the coronavirus pandemic because Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, persuaded him that ordering up tests, ventilators and other crucial medical equipment might have shaken the stock market, reported the Financial Times.
“Jared had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it," said the unnamed source, who the Times said spoke frequently to the president. "That advice worked far more powerfully on [Trump] than what the scientists were saying. He thinks they always exaggerate.”
Of course, the pandemic eventually stripped trillions of dollars from the market and destroyed millions of jobs, and the virus has so far killed 85,000 people in the U.S.
Experts say the U.S. remains woefully behind in the testing capacity necessary to safely restart the economy.
Trump himself has admitted to slow-walking widespread testing for political reasons.
“In a way, by doing all this testing we make ourselves look bad,” Trump said last week.