There’s only six months left in ‘Trump Time’, so the continuum is still safe, so far. Profiteering and looting might be less safe in the interim.
Already under fire for his role atop a shadow task force aiding the administration’s response to the coronavirus, senior White House aide Jared Kushner is now being handed another critical job: helping get a vaccine for the disease developed in record time.
President Donald Trump, who has said he believes a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year, is turning to his son-in-law to help streamline the effort, branded, “Operation Warp Speed.” Kushner is working alongside White House senior adviser Peter Navarro, who pitched the operation via memo to the president’s coronavirus task force as early as this February.
The hope inside the White House is that Kushner will be able to use his relationships in the private sector to speed up the normally lengthy development process, two sources familiar with Kushner’s involvement say.
“Jared has been vocal in meetings about wanting to engage the private sector on the development of a vaccine in a similarly successful way that the administration did on ventilators, PPE, and others,” a White House official said on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post published a story citing an official complaint lodged by a task force volunteer with the House Oversight Committee, alleging that Kushner’s operation has been hobbled by employing amateurish private-sector volunteers who were ill-suited for their vital assignments. The complaint alleged that the group responsible for acquiring PPE lacked backgrounds in health-care or supply-chain matters, had negligible success in their efforts, and were pressed to prioritize requests from VIPs in conservative media.
If Kushner were put in charge of gravity I would suggest we all learned to fly.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) May 6, 2020