According to the publication, the president was not pleased with Kushner’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, which included a push for more testing. The head of state reportedly suggested that the United States “do what Mexico does” and forgo tests for citizens who are not severely ill.
“Mr. Trump never came around to the idea that he had a responsibility to be a role model, much less that his leadership role might require him to publicly acknowledge hard truths about the virus — or even to stop insisting that the issue was not a rampaging pandemic but too much testing,” the report read.
According to the publication, Trump pointed to an excess of test administration as a campaign issue in the lead-up to the election.
“I’m going to lose,” Trump allegedly told Kushner during debate preparations. “And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing.”
Per The New York Times, White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern denied that the purported exchange between Trump and Kushner took place.
Trump repeatedly argued throughout his re-election campaign that administering too many coronavirus tests was an issue. As reported by Vanity Fair, a Kushner-backed test plan aimed to begin in the fall was allegedly abandoned in April due to the virus hitting the blue states the hardest. One public health expert that was in frequent contact with Trump’s COVID-19 task force spoke to the publication about the decision.
“The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy.”
According to Vanity Fair, Trump’s strategy might have influenced Kushner, as the expert claimed that the White House adviser had the final say on the proposal.
Elsewhere, reporting claimed that Kushner addressed New York’s pleas for coronavirus supplies by placing the blame on the state. He allegedly made the comment in a White House meeting where he reportedly slammed state leaders for their lack of leadership and claimed that the federal government was not going to intervene.
Nevertheless, Trump ultimately lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden. Per Business Insider, Trump’s former campaign manager, Brad Parscale, told Fox News earlier this month that the president lost the election due to his lack of empathy for people affected by the pandemic. In particular, Parscale suggested that the commander in chief failed to reach out to suburban families and show them he understood the effect the COVID-19 crisis was having on their lives.