Jared Kushner Draws Criticism Over Comments On Federal Stockpile, Role In U.S. Government’s Coronavirus Response

NPR: Jared Kushner’s Role In Coronavirus Response Draws Scrutiny, Criticism
“…Kushner, a real estate executive with no public health expertise, generally works behind scenes at the White House. So, critics have been curious about his role in the administration’s efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic. He has emerged with a central role working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to oversee the distribution of vital medical supplies to hospital and health care providers. On Thursday, he explained that Trump and Vice President Pence came to him looking for new ideas and ‘outside of the box’ thinking. But his lack of experience has drawn scrutiny, especially when he referred to the national stockpile of medical supplies as ‘our stockpile.’ ‘The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,’ he said. ‘It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.’ The backlash was quick and harsh…” (Ordoñez, 4/4).

USA TODAY: Jared Kushner makes coronavirus briefing appearance, draws backlash for ‘our stockpile’ comment
“…Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub pointed out that the website of the Strategic National Stockpile points to its potential use by state and local governments. ‘It is for the American people…as the federal government’s OWN strategic national stockpile website assures us!’ he wrote. The wording on the Strategic National Stockpile’s website was later changed. ‘The Strategic National Stockpile’s role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies,’ it now reads, noting that ‘many states have products stockpiled, as well.'” According to an archived version of the website, it previously said the stockpile was for use when ‘local supplies to run out’ and ‘when state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts’…” (Wu, 4/3).

Additional coverage of Kushner’s role in the U.S. government COVID-19 response is available from CNN, The Guardian, MSNBC, Newsweek, POLITICO, and Slate.