Jared Kushner helped lead the White House’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in March, but when he met with a group of business leaders about how they might be able to help states with the supplies they needed, he reportedly told them that the federal government wasn’t going to get involved.
According to an article in Vanity Fair, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser met with venture capitalists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in the White House to discuss how to supply masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment to the areas that needed them. After Donald Trump declined to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow the administration to assist with gathering and distributing supplies, the group convened to help make the case for invoking the law.
Instead of having the meeting they were expecting to have, attendees were surprised when Kushner began to rail against state leaders.
“The federal government is not going to lead this response… It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do,” he reportedly told the group.
One attendee said that Kushner attacked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for not doing enough to get supplies.
“Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state… His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem,” the attendee recalled Kushner saying.
One attendee recalled thinking at that point “we’re screwed.”
Allegedly, when one individual told Kushner that they all wanted to work together with the country’s leadership to solve the crisis, Kushner dismissed the pleas.
“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner reportedly said. “That is not the role of government.”
Attendees said that throughout the meeting Kushner repeatedly and aggressively defended the markets and told those in attendance that they didn’t understand how leading the country worked.
“It felt like Kushner was the president. He sat in the chair and he was clearly making the decisions,” said one person who was present.
“We had so much potential to commandeer against this,” another person added, saying that it would have been possible to implement effective contact tracing and to coordinate a plan of action between states, but that didn’t happen.
The individual added that in hindsight, it almost seemed as if Kushner felt that it was fine to let Cuomo struggle “because [New York] was a blue state.”
Another individual echoed this sentiment, saying that it seemed as though the president’s son-in-law wasn’t interested in coming up with an effective federal plan because most of the areas impacted at the time were states that had voted for Hillary Clinton.
The White House denied the report, calling it inaccurate.
This is not the first time that reports have emerged about the senior adviser’s allegedly weak response to the pandemic. In July, as The Inquisitr previously reported, he was accused of failing to address the crisis because it was impacting Democratic areas more.