Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, added America's coronavirus response to his weighty portfolio on Monday, at the request of Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, The New York Times reports. Kushner, who shares Trump's "jaundiced view" that the coronavirus problem is "more about public psychology than a health reality," took the lead on Trump's sloppy Oval Office address Wednesday night.
"There was some frustration among other White House aides at the sudden involvement by Kushner, who they viewed as simply parachuting in and whose vast portfolio — including Middle East peace negotiations, immigration, and the re-election campaign — has been the subject of mockery in some circles," The Washington Post adds. Before the speech, Kushner's primary job with coronavirus, Politico reports, was to research the virus and talk to "relevant parties" to help Trump decide whether to declare a national emergency.
"It appears that one of these 'relevant parties' is an emergency room doctor called Kurt Kloss, father of Jared's sister-in-law Karlie," the model, Matt McDonald reports at The Spectator. "And Dr. Kloss sought the advice of other medical professionals on Kushner's behalf ... in a Facebook group with almost 22,000 members." He posted some of the exchanges, including one in which Dr. Kloss lays out his relationship to Kushner and explains he "was asked by Jared through my son in-law for my recommendations." He compiled the recommendations in a public Facebook post.
"With such a long to-do list, can Kushner really be blamed for seeking help?" McDonald asks. "Even if it does result in a boomer crowdsourcing advice on a Facebook group that could inform U.S. government policy."
Perhaps Kushner should have also boomer-crowdsourced ideas for Trump's speech, for which "Republicans close to the White House privately laid blame at the feet of Mr. Kushner," the Times reports. "A person close to Mr. Kushner described that as unfair, saying that he was merely helping out and that it becomes easier to blame him when things are difficult."