The Trump administration’s relentless campaign to convince America that the 1 million COVID-19 cases and the 50,000+ deaths are in no way shape or form the fault of the government and that a return to sunshine and normalcy is just around the corner reached North Korean levels of Dear Leader delusion and misinformation this morning.
The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, appeared on FOX News today to paint a rosy picture of the pandemic’s outlook that bears little resemblance to reality. He lauded the administration’s response to the crisis as a “great success” and proclaimed that he was “very confident that we have all the testing we need to start opening the country.”
Going further, Kushner said that “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.”
"I'm very confident we have all the testing we need to start reopening the country" — Jared Kushner went on Fox & Friends today and claimed states have "excess capacity" for testing (the country right now is not doing even half as much testing as experts think is necessary) pic.twitter.com/SAd2bYOIjb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2020
It’s well documented at this point that the administration’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic significantly exacerbated the crisis, and Kushner himself blames a fair portion of the blame for it.
Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports that Jared Kushner and Trump were so busy settling impeachment trial scores that it set back virus response by a staggering six weeks. During that time, Kushner played a huge role in convincing Trump that the media and Democrats were hyping up the virus in order to hurt Trump politically and that taking any action would hurt the stock market.
“The U.S. is now expected to blow past the 60,000 mark around the beginning of May, earlier than the IHME model had projected and with less of the dramatic leveling-off that its forecast had initially baked in.” https://t.co/s1b4PYrmUc
— Blake News (@blakehounshell) April 24, 2020
So instead of aggressively ramping up COVID-19 testing capabilities and issuing national guidelines for quarantine procedures, Trump and Kushner deliberately slow-walked testing and then refused to use the World Health Organization’s testing kits, choosing instead to go with an American-made test that inevitably was delayed by manufacturing issues, lab contamination, and logistical problems.
By the time they finally decided to take things seriously, it was far too late — and despite the Trump team’s obsession with misrepresenting the number of tests performed as a barometer of their success, all the experts say we are still nowhere near the level of testing that we need in order to even consider re-opening the economy and resuming business as usual.
It is deeply irresponsible for the Trump team to continue to pretend that we’re approaching the beginning of the end, and deeply offensive to watch a spoiled snotling like Jared Kushner spit on the graves of the tens of thousands of dead by patting himself on the back and telling the nation that the White House’s virus response has been a “success.”