Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, made his debut at Trump's daily coronavirus briefing Thursday night. Kushner, recently put in charge of a parallel coronavirus panel working on supply lines, criticized governors who don't know how many masks and ventilators they have in store.
"What a lot of the voters are seeing now is that when you elect somebody to be a mayor or governor or president, you're trying to think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis," Kushner said. "This is a time of crisis, and you're seeing certain people are better managers than others."
Kushner, 39, has criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in internal White House meetings over the past week, saying Cuomo is being alarmist about shortfalls in ventilators and other equipment, Gabriel Sherman reports at Vanity Fair. "I have all this data about ICU capacity," Kushner said, according to a person at the meeting. "I'm doing my own projections, and I've gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn't need all the ventilators." Kushner also reportedly bragged last month, "I know how to make this government run now."
So far, voters seem more impressed with the competence of their governors than Trump's. An Associated Press/NORC poll conducted March 26-29 found that 57 percent of Americans approve of their state government's coronavirus response, versus 44 percent who approved of Trump's response and 38 percent the federal government's response. "In individual states, governors — most of whom are briefing the media and their residents on a daily basis — have seen their approval ratings shoot through the roof," Reid Wilson reports at The Hill.
As for Kushner, who's now "making life-or-death decisions for all Americans," he has "succeeded at exactly three things in his life," Michelle Goldberg writes in a New York Times op-ed. "He was born to the right parents, married well, and learned how to influence his father-in-law. Most of his other endeavors — his biggest real estate deal, his foray into newspaper ownership, his attempt to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians — have been failures."