Senior White House adviser and President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been given a prominent role in coordinating the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, despite seemingly having no obvious qualifications for the job. The decision to elevate Kushner to such a position is being met with skepticism and scorn, but according to reporter Mehdi Hasan, it comes as no surprise.
Per Raw Story, during an appearance on MSNBC host Ali Velshi’s show on Saturday, Hasan weighed in on the situation, blasting Kushner as a “man who’s failed at everything he’s touched.” According to Hasan, a senior columnist at The Intercept, Trump and his allies have turned the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic into a “partisan political crisis.”
According to the reporter, the president and his people have been allocating important resources however they see fit. The journalist argued that the president is directing the government to prioritize resources to red states such as Florida, while depriving Democratic-leaning states, such as New York and Maine, of essential medical equipment.
“What we’re seeing right now, real time, is a kakistocracy…On what planet is Jared Kushner put in charge of the White House’s response to the coronavirus?” Hasan asked, before listing what he claims are some of the president son-in-law’s major failures.
“This is a man who’s failed at everything he’s touched … he’s failed to run a New York newspaper, he’s failed in the property business his criminal father gifted to him, failed at trying to bring peace to the Middle East.”
“And now failing at trying to handle this major public health crisis which he’s not qualified to handle,” Hasan added, pointing to Trump and Kushner’s recent suggestion that the federal government has its own stockpile of ventilators.
During a press briefing, the president and his adviser referred to the equipment as “our ventilators,” which — Hasan argued — demonstrates how unwilling the administration is to help states handle the pandemic.
“The president wanted the best people doing the best jobs,” says…Jared Kushner (!)
You can’t make this stuff up. https://t.co/l1b1bqMCHt
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) April 3, 2020
The president has been widely criticized for letting his son-in-law become part of the team managing the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The criticism intensified after reports emerged that a private corporation associated with the Kushner family was contacted to develop a website that would purportedly allow Americans to easily access information about coronavirus testing locations.
The collaboration would be in violation of ethics laws, experts say. According to Jessica Tillipman, an expert in anti-corruption law at George Washington University School of Law, the situation could qualify as a conflict of interest even though the website idea appears to have been abandoned.