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Kushner's COVID-19 Team Ended Plan for Nationwide Testing Because They Didn't Want to Help Blue States
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=55447"><span class="small">Mia Jankowicz, Business Insider</span></a>   
Friday, 31 July 2020 12:55

Jankowicz writes: "Kushner's plan was dropped in favor of a mainly state-by-state response."

Jared Kushner. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
Jared Kushner. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Kushner's COVID-19 Team Ended Plan for Nationwide Testing Because They Didn't Want to Help Blue States

By Mia Jankowicz, Business Insider

31 July 20


embers of Jared Kushner's coronavirus task force considered a national-scale testing plan early in the US's coronavirus outbreak.

However, according to a new Vanity Fair report, the plan never came to be, partly because the task force thought it would be better politically to hold off.

The logic, a source told Vanity Fair, was that the virus would hit Democratic-voting areas hardest and that the damage could be blamed on governors instead.

In March and early April, Kushner, a senior White House adviser, led a task force, parallel to the White House's official efforts, to devise a plan to accelerate coronavirus testing and supply chains nationwide.

Ultimately, that was abandoned, and President Donald Trump shifted much of the responsibility for controlling outbreaks to individual states.

A public-health expert who was in regular contact with Kushner's team told Vanity Fair's Katherine Eban that political reasoning may have influenced the decision.

"The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy," the unnamed expert said.

The expert also said the final call would have been Kushner's. "It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out," they said.

When the team was working, New York was the epicenter of the US's coronavirus outbreak, with more than 300,000 cases by early April.

It's not the first time the Trump administration has been accused of using politicized reasoning in its pandemic response.

The president wore a face mask in public for the first time in early July, and he has recently signaled a more serious take on a pandemic that he had previously downplayed.

On Monday, however, reports emerged that Trump's pivot may have been motivated by advisers showing him increases in cases in Republican and swing states — "our people," a senior administration official told The Washington Post.

Several states, both red and blue, have seen significant increases in coronavirus cases since beginning to ease lockdowns. Arizona, Florida, and Texas — all of which have Republican governors — are among the states that now have more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people. your social media marketing partner