A shocking Vanity Fair expose revealed that Jared Kushner’s heartless coronavirus plan put politics ahead of the lives of Americans.
Those working with Kushner on a COVID-19 response plan “were given the strong impression that it would soon be shared with President [Donald] Trump and announced by the White House. The plan, though imperfect, was a starting point.”
A participant in the group said that the idea was to work together as a nation, which “would have put us in a fundamentally different place.”
As COVID-19 ravaged California, Washington, New York and other northeastern areas, however, things began to change in the White House.
“Trusting his vaunted political instincts, President Trump had been downplaying concerns about the virus and spreading misinformation about it—efforts that were soon amplified by Republican elected officials and right-wing media figures,” said Vanity Fair. “Worried about the stock market and his reelection prospects, Trump also feared that more testing would only lead to higher case counts and more bad publicity. Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, was reportedly sharing models with senior staff that optimistically—and erroneously, it would turn out—predicted the virus would soon fade away.”
The problem with Birx estimations was likely from the assumption that people would continue to stay inside, stay away from each other and wear masks. It’s what managed to get numbers in the country down and keep them down until Memorial Day weekend. As things seemed like they were getting better, Trump’s team was losing interest in a large-scale effort, a public health expert in contact with the White House told Vanity Fair.
“Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically,” said the report.
“The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” the expert told Vanity Fair. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision-maker as to what [plan] was going to come out.”
It seemed to be the way the administration went, because on April 27, Trump celebrated big commercial testing labs and shifted responsibility to the states.
But the virus didn’t stay in the blue states. As predicted, it quickly spread to red states where governors claimed all was well and refused to pause reopening efforts.