Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised he would hire the “best people.” He never told us that meant the best people for screwing things up. As we have seen over the past three-and-a-half years, Trump’s ideal underling is someone who shares his toxic blend of stunning immorality and gross incompetence. As an alarming new report reveals, Jared Kushner fits this profile even more than we knew.
On Thursday, Vanity Fair detailed a Kushner-led White House plan for an “aggressive, coordinated COVID-19 response.” If carried out properly, it would have positioned the United States in a far safer, prosperous, and advantageous position today against this pandemic. Instead, the plan, which was always legally dubious, wound up being so sloppily executed that, according to one participant in the program, it “went poof into thin air.”
A cornerstone of the plan involved purchasing one million coronavirus tests, manufactured in China and funneled through the United Arab Emirates. In typical Trumpian fashion, Kushner’s team neglected to follow several critical steps aimed at preventing waste, fraud, and abuse with federal government procurements. Only after the White House received the tests and distributed them to states through FEMA, government labs discovered that all one million tests were “contaminated and unusable.”
Bureaucratic confusion reigned for three months as a shady company with close ties to the UAE’s ruling family demanded payment for 3.5 million tests through an invoice (misspelling its own name) to the tune of $52,500,000. During this period, the virus exploded throughout the United States, sickening 2.4 million Americans and claiming 123,331 lives.
The other part of Kushner’s secret charge was to implement a grand plan for coordinated testing at the federal level. Such a plan would have unified the nation in battling COVID-19 effectively while preventing state and local governments from competing for limited supplies and resources. Instead, Kushner gave up “for reasons that remain murky.”
Although some details of this story remain unclear, an expert told Vanity Fair that a member of Kushner’s team confirmed a chillingly hyper-partisan motive. Trump and his advisors believed that COVID-19 was mainly a blue-state problem, and so they decided their best bet was to scrap a national plan in favor of later blaming Democratic governors for failing (hands tied behind their back) to control the virus.
Kushner is among the very worst of Trump’s “best people” — a cadre of perversely unqualified, morally depraved, and colossally inept minions committed to implementing a destructive and deadly “America Last” policy on all constituents. On Election Day, we must send a resounding message that the Trump administration is what needs to go “poof into thin air.” America deserves better than this genocidal carnival barker and his parade of sad clowns.