Kushner Has ‘CBS Sunday’ PR Disaster After Down Playing COVID Deaths


President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has no business being anywhere near the White House — but thanks to the president’s team’s incessant rewarding of incompetence, there he is anyway. He had absolutely zero experience in public policy prior to assuming his White House role, but he has helped lead the White House response to the Coronavirus pandemic anyway. There is no universe in which that pandemic response can be considered to be a success — over 170,000 Americans are dead. Yet, during an appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation this Sunday morning, host Margaret Brennan asked Kushner what he thinks the White House’s team has done wrong — and Kushner, at least initially, refused to acknowledge a single mistake.

It’s as if, yet again, Trump’s closest political allies are treating the pandemic like some kind of public relations game rather than a crisis in which American lives are at stake.

Brennan posed the question:

‘We had over 1,500 deaths in this country in a single day. That brings us back to the kind of rate we were at in the month of May. You heard the CDC Director: they’re projecting 200,000 deaths by Labor Day. Do you believe the administration has control of the virus, and what do you think you’ve done wrong?’

Kushner began his response by claiming that he recalls the May death rate as actually about 2,500 a day, but that is wrong. According to one prominent tally, newly reported deaths surpassed 2,000 on only three days in May. Besides — it’s not exactly reassuring for one of the people who’s supposed to be in charge of responding to the crisis to seemingly take up the argument of: “Well, at least it’s not even worse.”

Kushner added:

‘We have seen over the last two weeks that hospitalizations have come down — the president’s taken a very aggressive approach, not just in the hotspots but in what we call the ember cities, to push all the different measures that we can take, like wearing a mask, social distancing, using best practice — but most importantly, the president’s really advanced the use of a lot of therapeutics, which is bringing the case fatality rate down, better, which has been a good thing… All different countries, all different states are trying different things. As the federal government, we’ve been trying to share best practices.. and we’ve been making sure that all the different states have all the resources they need.’

Watch his comments below:

There’s so much bluster in Kushner’s remarks, and so little substance. “All different countries, all different states are trying different things” is not exactly the kind of hard-hitting plan that one might hope for from a top White House official.

While it’s true that, as he noted, the federal government has worked on the distribution of therapeutic drugs like Remdesivir, it’s also true that Trump spent an inordinate amount of time hyping up the unproven treatment plan of using hydroxychloroquine against the Coronavirus. Among other issues, it also took Trump months to even publicly promote mask-wearing, which is a crucial frontline step that helps curtail the spread of the virus.