Jared Kushner’s prediction in April that the United States would be “rocking again” by July is coming under sharp scrutiny as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States hit all-time highs.
As Business Insider noted, Kushner made the bold claim that the American economy would be returning to normal by July during an appearance on Fox & Friends in April. The interview came as states were in strict lockdown mode, with many ordering all non-essential businesses to close and imposing strict restrictions against any kind of public gathering.
“I think you’ll see by June a lot of the country should be back to normal and the hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again,” Kushner said.
Though the report noted that cases were rising sharply at the time Kushner made his statement and the timeframe for when the economy could begin reopening was not certain, the top White House adviser said that the United States was already “on the other side of the medical aspect of this.”
Kushner added that it was not practical for the U.S. to remain in such a strict lockdown for long.
“The eternal-lockdown crowd can make jokes on late-night television, but the reality is that the data is on our side,” he said.
But as the report noted, the situation has worsened sharply in recent weeks, with surges of cases in a number of states creating record-breaking numbers of newly infected people.
The report also pointed out that Kushner’s prediction has been wrong on the American economy as well, with unemployment still at 11.1 percent.
Kushner’s role in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response has also come under scrutiny, with critics saying he is not qualified to be working on such an important issue.
Some of the criticism has been personal. Elizabeth Spiers, a journalist who worked with Kushner as editor-in-chief of the New York Observer when he bought it as a 25-year-old, said the top White House aide and son-in-law to President Donald Trump has not faced any consequences for his “string of failures” in leading major White House initiatives. She also claimed he lacked the proper empathy to help create a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Relationships were primarily transactional, and this failure of empathy permeated everything he did,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
As Business Insider noted, Kushner has made “sparse” television appearances since his optimistic prediction in April.