A bombshell report from Vanity Fair was published on Friday, claiming that Senior Adviser Jared Kushner may have abandoned a comprehensive national COVID-19 testing plan after finding that cities that largely vote Democratic were being hit the hardest by the novel coronavirus.
Hours after the piece emerged, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued an official White House statement on Twitter rejecting the entire story.
In the caption, McEnany contested the factual accuracy of the story and said that both Kushner and Admiral Brett Giroir had done “remarkable” work on rolling out a national system. She also claimed that the Vanity Fair reporter never made any attempts to speak with her and had only sent a single email to one White House staffer, who had left their position over a month ago.
“The premise of this article is entirely false,” the statement began.
McEnany then went on to say that the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus tests, with over 60 million conducted so far. India, she stated, is the next highest, with just 18 million. The number of tests completed in the U.S. shows that the states have the kits they need and about 820,000 Americans were checked per day.
She also stated that the number of kits in the country had increased by 32,000 percent since March 12, when the pandemic began to spread in earnest. The first confirmed COVID-19 death was on February 29.
McEnany then explained the ways in which the reporting was supposedly not factual.
“The article consistently misstated and misrepresents. For example, Jared and his team worked hand-in-hand with Admiral Giroir. The public-private teams were embedded with Giroir and represented a single and united administration effort that succeeded in rapidly expanding our robust testing regime and making America number one in conducting tests.”
The press secretary also specifically addressed the idea that Kushner had stopped developing a national response because it might be politically advantageous for Donald Trump’s administration, saying the assertion was incorrect.
“Further, the article is completely incorrect in its assertion that any plan was stopped for political or other reasons,” she wrote.
“Our testing strategy has one goal in mind — delivering for the American people — and is being executed and modified daily to incorporate new facts on the ground.”
McEnany’s statement came as Kushner faces intense backlash for his alleged part in the coronavirus pandemic response.
Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Kushner was “more than incompetent” and accused him of letting Americans die in order to benefit his father-in-law. She said that in any other administration, his behavior would be the subject of an investigation.