White House senior adviser Jared Kushner coldly informed a group of business leaders earlier this year that the state of New York would “suffer” with COVID-19, adding: “That’s their problem,” sources told Vanity Fair.
The shocking comment was one of several in the article exposing Kushner’s dismissive, compassion-challenged attitude about the rapacious pandemic that as of Saturday has claimed close to 200,000 lives in the U.S., including more than 33,000 in New York.
He made the comments at a meeting with business leaders he hosted at the White House ― some were online ― on March 21, according to Vanity Fair, when President Donald Trump already knew how lethal COVID-19 was.
A number of people attending the meeting told the magazine that they were “stunned” by Kushner’s chilly attitude about the suffering and death facing Americans.
When one business representative brought up the devastating problems states were having obtaining adequate personal protective equipment — including face masks, gloves and gowns for medical workers — Kushner reportedly responded: “Free markets will solve this. That is not the role of government.”
As the COVID-19 death toll continued to mount, states were left to fend for themselves with no federal management and little aid. Many states ended up competing with one another for desperately needed supplies, driving up prices. In some cases, they competed with the federal government, which snatched supplies ordered by states — or instructed vendors not to do business with certain states — to channel them elsewhere.
According to the article, when the same business leader said he feared the market was failing to deliver medical supplies, he said Kushner responded: “That’s the CNN bullshit. They lie.”
Trump’s son-in-law then reportedly complained that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) “didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state ... His people are going to suffer and...