Jared Kushner defends pandemic response — says he's 'absolutely' sending his kids back to in-person school

Jared Kushner defends pandemic response — says he's 'absolutely' sending his kids back to in-person school
Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump, speaks with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Douglas A. Silliman, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, and Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, after arriving in Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

Appearing on Face The Nation this Sunday, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner claimed that he is “absolutely” sending his children back to in-person, in-classroom school amid the ongoing global pandemic—and that Trump has taken a “very aggressive approach” to the novel coronavirus. In fact, Trump’s son in law really hyped up Trump’s pandemic response, arguing that the nation is “still below peak” in COVID-19 death rates.

We can break down those head-scratching proclamations below, as well as the back and forth that went viral, in which Kushner proudly says he’s sending his own children back to in-person school, and in fact, wishes the school was opening up five days a week.

“You're a parent,” says host Margaret Brennan. “There are a lot of nervous parents out there, as you just heard. Are you sending your children back to in-person education in a classroom?”

Kushner: “Absolutely.”

Brennan pressed him: “You're not concerned about exposure?”

“No, because again, you know, children have a six times higher chance to die from the flu than from the coronavirus,” Kushner argued. “So based on the data I've seen, I don't believe that that's a risk. Again, this virus impacts different people in different ways. We know a lot more now than we did.”

Relatedly, also appearing on CBS this Sunday, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Scott Gottlieb, said, “I think we need to be careful about making comparisons to flu and the death and disease we see in flu relative to COVID. There is a lot we don’t understand about COVID and kids.”

Here is that Gottlieb clip.

In terms of school, Kushner added to Brennan: “Our school is not opening up five days a week, I wish they were, but we absolutely will be sending our kids back to school and I have no fear in doing so.”

Here is Kushner’s clip.

Of course, as we know, some young people do become seriously ill as a result of the virus. Some have died—and especially Black children. That’s in addition to the concerns about children and young adults being possible carriers for the virus, including, possibly, to older teachers, family members, or community members who may have additional comorbidities or vulnerable health status.

As Daily Kos has covered, while many schools across the nation have reopened for in-person classes amid the pandemic, many are sending kids home to self-quarantine after barely any learning time. Why? Because kids (or staff members) keep testing positive for the virus. Schools opening for in-person classes (especially if they aren’t mandating masks or enforcing proper social distancing) isn’t going to be sustainable amid the pandemic. That clear rationale doesn’t stop Trump (and some Republican governors) from insisting upon sending teachers, students, and school workers into possible danger, however.

As for the rest of Kushner’s interview, he insisted that Trump’s “taken a very aggressive approach, not just in the hot spots, but also in what we call the ember cities to push all the different measures that we can take, like wearing a mask, social distancing, using best practice.” He barreled on that “the president's really advanced the use of a lot of therapeutics, which is bringing the case fatality rate down better, which has been a good thing and obviously accelerating a vaccine.”

Kushner also asserted that in terms of reelection chances, Trump is “in much better shape now than we were in 2016” and that “we're claiming states that we didn’t win last time we think we have a great opportunity.”

And here is that full interview, courtesy of YouTube.

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