Where Things Stand: Kushner’s Many Hats

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White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. From left, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and Kushner. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters From left, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pen... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters From left, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and Kushner on March 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. With Americans testing positive from coronavirus rising President Trump is asking Congress for $1 trillion aid package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Evan Vucci-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 2, 2020 11:58 a.m.
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The President’s son-in-law has quietly taken on a crucial role in the White House’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

According to a new Politico report, Jared Kushner was initially assigned a side job a few weeks ago, to work with private companies to address COVID-19 testing issues across the nation. Now, his role in the White House’s efforts has expanded significantly. Kushner has taken on an outsized role in coordinating with FEMA and has been working with the private sector intimately to produce and deliver needed medical supplies and equipment.

This brand of shadow crisis management has become a staple of Kushner’s White House portfolio, likely only attainable for Kushner because he enjoys Trump’s full confidence and trust, despite lacking most of the experience necessary to be in such a position. Kushner quietly worked with Congress to pass a criminal justice reform bill, became the face of the White House’s Middle East peace plan and even had a strong role in leading the White House’s response to impeachment proceedings.

It’s no surprise that Kushner has now somehow been handed an outsized leadership role in combatting a wildly unprecedented global pandemic. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Josh Kovensky and Matt Shuham are working on a story about doctors being requisitioned to operate ventilators as the COVID-19 crisis escalates.

Kate Riga is looking into new legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would enforce sanctions against foreign officials who withhold or distort public health information.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

The Labor Department reported today that a 6.6 million unemployment claims were made last week, which is double the now-former record of 3.3 million claims made in the previous week as the coronavirus outbreak escalated significantly in the U.S. We’ll keep monitoring this each week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent health expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force has been receiving threats over his public contradictions with President Trump’s rosy narrative of the COVID-19 virus. The health expert has recently been assigned an extra security detail, according to multiple reports. We’re watching to see if this impacts his relationship with Trump and his role at the White House.

Trump continues to refuse to take responsibility for the increasingly dire medical equipment shortage in New York. When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized him this morning for his poor response to the crisis, Trump told the senator to “stop complaining.” Trump has nothing on this public schedule today, so we can likely expect more tweets from him.

Today’s Rundown

Trump has nothing on his public schedule today.

5:00 p.m. ET: The White House coronavirus task force will hold it’s briefing.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Coast Guard Directs Cruise Ships To Remain At Sea ‘Indefinitely’ — Associated Press

What We Are Reading

Governor Admits He Didn’t Know Asymptomatic People Could Pass Virus — MSNBC

Missouri State, County COVID-19 Case Numbers Often Don’t Match. And There’s No One Reason Why. — Janelle O’Dea

Experts Tell White House Coronavirus Can Spread Through Talking Or Even Just Breathing — Elizabeth Cohen

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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