Jared Kushner resisted taking a role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic from the very beginning, according to a new report about the White House response.
A bipartisan group of heavy hitters and business leaders met March 20 at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss how to make and distribute personal protective equipment, and certain government officials urged them to return the next day to meet with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, reported Vanity Fair.
“The federal government is not going to lead this response,” Kushner told the group at the start of the meeting, seated in a chair taller than the others around the conference table. “It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do.”
Kushner had formed a “shadow task force” that ran parallel to one led by Vice President Mike Pence, and private sector representatives had pledged to produce PPEs if the federal government promised to buy them, and they wanted the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to make that happen quickly.
“We were all saying, ‘Mr. Kushner, if you want to fix this problem for PPE and ventilators, there’s a path to do it, but you have to make a policy change,’” recalled one person who attended the meeting.
Kushner got “very aggressive” and insisted they didn’t understand how government worked as well as he did, although that attendee said his arguments “made no sense.”
“It felt like Kushner was the president,” that person said. “He sat in the chair and he was clearly making the decisions.”
One attendee told Kushner that Americans were bidding against each other for the limited supply of PPE, and that person explained that businesses that wanted to help were looking for leadership from the federal government.
“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner replied. “That is not the role of government.”
That same person agreed that open markets could solve many problems, but he said the system was breaking under the crisis, pointing to a CNN report about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desperation for supplies.
“That’s the CNN bullsh*t,” Kushner told that person. “They lie.”
Another attendee said that prompted a rant by Kushner against the Democratic governor.
“Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state,” Kushner said. “His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
Other attendees were shocked and alarmed.
“That’s when I was like, we’re screwed,” an attendee said.
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Jared Kushner Bragged in April Trump Was Taking ‘The Country Back From the Doctors’ Newly Released Recording Reveals
President Donald Trump was not the only one who freely made bombshell remarks to Bob Woodward. Trump senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner told Woodward, on tape back in April that President Trump was taking “the country back from the doctors,” and that “he’s going to own the open-up.”
It is a remarkable admission, in the face of a global pandemic that had already killed thousands in the U.S., the President’s top advisor was focused not on helping Americans stay safe and healthy, but rather was focused on the politics of perception, and wrestling control away from the medical experts.
“The last thing was kind of doing the guidelines, which was interesting,” Kushner tells Woodward in audio obtained by CNN. “And that in my mind was almost like – you know, it was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors. Right? In the sense that what he now did was, you know, he’s going to own the open-up.”
Taking the country back from the doctors, Kushner, said, was “a negotiated settlement,” as if he saw the Trump administration at war with science.
“There were three phases,” Kushner continued. “There’s the panic phase, the pain phase and then the comeback phase. I do believe that last night symbolized kind of the beginning of the comeback phase. That doesn’t mean there’s not still a lot of pain and there won’t be pain for a while, but that basically was, we’ve now put out rules to get back to work. Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors. They’ve kind of – we have, like, a negotiated settlement.”
Last month CNN revealed audio of Trump as far back as February telling Woodward the coronavirus was “deadly stuff,” but that he “wanted to always play it down.”
Trump had “admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and ‘more deadly than even your strenuous flus,’ and that he repeatedly played it down publicly,” CNN reported.
‘Vice Superspreader’ Pence Accused of ‘Criminal Disregard’ for Campaigning After 5 Advisors Test Positive
Vice President Mike Pence is under fire for continuing to campaign for re-election despite five of his close advisors, including his Chief of Staff, Marc Short, have tested positive for coronavirus over the past few days.
ABC News reports “at least 5 individuals in the Vice President’s orbit have tested positive as of last night.” The New York Times has reported “up to five” have tested positive. Fox News reports “5 close to Pence test positive for coronavirus.”
The latest COVID-19 outbreak in the White House was exposed once again by Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs, who first reported Hope Hicks was positive. That report led to President Donald Trump having to admit he and the First lady had also tested positive in an outbreak that infected at least 34 people who had attended the White House Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
But unlike Senator Kamala Harris, who was exposed to an individual who tested positive and immediately self-quarantined, Vice President Pence will not. He is back on the campaign trail, with the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, saying doctors have cleared him to campaign.
On Sunday, Meadows claimed the Vice President is an “essential worker” and therefore must continue to campaign, which is false – campaigning is not part of his job as vice president.
After several aides, including his chief of staff, tested positive for Covid-19, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says VP Pence will keep campaigning: “Essential personnel, whether it’s the Vice President of the United States or anyone else, has to continue on” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/2ZWMmwUHG3
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
Meadows admitted on Sunday the Trump administration has no intention of even attempting to control the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” he told CNN. “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”
Meadows also tried to hide that Pence’s Chief of Staff had tested positive. The White House claimed he first tested positive on Saturday, but Meadows on Sunday slipped, admitting “he’s been quarantining these last few days.”
Americans are furious that Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is ignoring CDC
guidelines – and basic common sense – after coming into contact with five of his close advisors who are positive.
Here’s what many are saying:
This is the most important point this a.m. Pence is now a walking advertisement for the failure of his own task force, the recklessness of the Trump Administration and his spineless in the face of Trump. People will die because Mike Pence has neither character nor competence. https://t.co/o5kwod6vAK
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 25, 2020
Vice Superspreader Mike Pence can recklessly campaign all he wants, but I’m not getting within a mile of that infectious fuck
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 25, 2020
5 Pence aides have COVID, but Pence will stay on the campaign trail. Simply reckless. Angering.
— Voice of Reason (@RealJeffreyT) October 25, 2020
This is criminal and shows depraved indifference towards the lives of Pence Trump supporters and all Americans. Makes me wonder if Trump is still positive and willing to put his supporters at even greater risk https://t.co/kPAhIcTzJQ
— Richard Pollack (@richard_pollack) October 25, 2020
By going ahead with campaigning after at least 5 of his staff have tested positive, it’s hard to see how Pence isn’t guilty of reckless endangerment at the very least. https://t.co/Awk852ugym
— JimAndrews518 (@JimAndrews518) October 25, 2020
We are now up to at least 5 people in Pence’s orbit who have tested positive, and yet @VP is not planning to quarantine.
Instead, he plans to continue getting on a plane with staff, Secret Service agents & military personnel in order to keep campaigning in this final stretch https://t.co/kw3L1BkyMV
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 25, 2020
MOST RECENT DAILY CASE COUNT:
VICE-PRESIDENT PENCE’S STAFF: 5 https://t.co/TDUxD1UyuT
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) October 25, 2020
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 25, 2020
BREAKING: The coronavirus has turned the corner…..and was last seen driving straight into Mike Pence’s office, as 5 of his aides have now tested positive.
— cαηα∂α нαтεs тя☭мρ (@Trump_Detester) October 25, 2020
Has Pence’s office tested the fly? That might make 6 cases, not 5.
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) October 25, 2020
@VP @realDonaldTrump This is criminal level disregard for the health and well-being of the people who are around you. This is the most selfish and irresponsible administration in the history of the United States. I can hardly wait to vote you out!!! https://t.co/mqpxJWjAyo
— Tom Corn (@MrTomCorn) October 25, 2020
NYT reports VP Pence CoS, others in close contact, have tested positive for COVID19. All should be in quarantine. Hitting the campaign trail is an act of depraved indifference. https://t.co/6HLiyche70 https://t.co/fRBhO52gWR
— Dan Yurman (@djysrv) October 25, 2020
Mike Pence is coming to Minnesota on Monday after 5 of his staff tested positive for Coronavirus. We don’t want him here . He’s bad and toxic energy and is going to get people sick. Rally after rally is a catastrophic mistake.
— Jesse Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) October 25, 2020
Makes you wonder–Is Pence the head of the “Coronavirus task force” or is he the head of the “Coronavirus super spreader force”.
— Oreo (@OreoBuffy5) October 25, 2020
‘We Are Not Going to Control the Pandemic’: Trump Top Aide Meadows Makes Damning Confession During CNN Interview
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows waved the white flag on Sunday morning, admitting the administration has all but given up on trying to “contain” the coronavirus pandemic, saying they are directing their efforts to “vaccines and therapeutics.”
With “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper pointing cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, Meadows attempted to attack CNN over their coverage of the pandemic, to which Tapper replied, “It’s coming from all sorts of places because the pandemic is out of control.”
“So here’s what we have to do,” Meadows attempted. “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation.”
“Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?” Tapper pressed.
“Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Meadows shot back with Tapper insisting, “But why not make efforts to contain it?”
“We are making efforts to contain it,” said Meadows at which point the CNN host interrupted with, “By running all over the country and not wearing masks? That’s what the vice president is doing.”
Saying the administration needs to focus on “therapies or vaccines or treatments,” Meadows then changed the subject to attacking presidential frontrunner Joe Biden.
MEADOWS: We're not going to control the pandemic
TAPPER: Why not?
M: Because it's a contagious virus
T: Why not make efforts to contain it?
M: What we need to do is make sure we have the proper mitigation factors to make sure people don't die pic.twitter.com/0DYgk4rB3T
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 25, 2020
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