New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with 1,139 deaths from the disease in New York City alone as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has said that as cases of coronavirus infection continue to pile up, his state will need a supply of 30,000 ventilators to treat the patients who could flood New York hospitals when the pandemic there reaches its peak.
But according to a new investigative report by Vanity Fair magazine, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner disagrees.
Kushner, who serves as a senior White House adviser, has recently taken an influential, behind-the-scenes role on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. This comes after earlier speculation that the president may name him the administration’s “czar” in charge of the pandemic response.
Trump instead named Vice President Mike Pence to head the task force.
According to Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman, in one recent meeting, Kushner dismissed Cuomo’s pleas for 30,000 ventilators to treat New York patients, saying that he had done “my own projections.”
“I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this,” he reportedly said in the behind-the-scenes meeting, as quoted by Sherman. “New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.”
Kushner added that he is in possession of “all this data,” and according to his own analysis, Cuomo’s estimate of his state’s ventilator requirements is too high.