Kushner’s coronavirus response inspires ‘mockery’ from Trump officials and White House insiders
President Donald Trump has more than one coronavirus task force: the main one that is headed by Vice President Mike Pence and includes Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, and a less publicized task force that is headed by White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and has been enlisting private sector companies. But according to Daily Beast reporters Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng, some White House sources are unsure exactly what Kushner has been doing with his task force in recent weeks.
A senior official for the Trump Administration, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, told the Beast that Kushner “could be in his office just googling ‘coronavirus,’ show the results to the president — and still get a gold sticker from his dad-in-law. He is solving the coronavirus like he’s bringing peace to the (Middle East).”
According to Banco and Suebsaeng, “several of the projects that Kushner’s team has helmed” are “running behind schedule or are causing massive disruptions in the way states are handling their own coronavirus responses.” Moreover, the Beast journalists report that at times, “Kushner’s outreach to private actors has provoked mockery and some internal face-palming.”
Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asserted that Kushner is only making things more difficult for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Beast quotes Kayyem as saying that Kushner “muddied up a process that was really not needing a fix. What that does is disempower FEMA because if, at any moment, Jared or one of his henchmen demand assets to be redistributed at their discretion, FEMA’s planning gets disrupted. I’ve never seen operations on something this scale being run out of the White House. Usually, it’s policy and communications that they handle… but you would never run logistical operations out of the White House.”