In audio from an April interview for journalist Bob Woodward’s book Rage that was obtained by CNN and published Wednesday, Jared Kushner explained to Woodward how his father-in-law, President Trump, settled on his coronavirus pandemic strategy.
Trump, he said, eschewed a formal cohesive federal testing plan, instead leaving that up the nation’s governors. The decision was partly ideological, Kushner said, since “that’s the way the federalist system works,” but it was also a political calculation. Trump wanted the states to handle the execution of federal guidelines on their own, but he sought to take the credit for a successful economic re-opening, and so attempted to include a fail-safe in his plan.
“The President also is very smart politically with the way he did that fight with the governors to basically say, no, no, no, no, I own the opening,” Kushner said. “Because again, the opening is going to be very popular. People want this country open. But if it opens in the wrong way, the question will be, did the governors follow the guidelines we set out or not?”
Back in April when he gave the interview, Kushner believed the United States had entered the “comeback phase” of the pandemic, but the virus has continued to rage in the U.S. and elsewhere, so it remains to be seen if he and Trump are still confident that the strategy worked. Read more at CNN. Tim O’Donnell