Not to pile on Jared Kushner for a second day in a row … but what is he talking about?
As Twitter has informed me, I wasn’t the only one who noticed the White House senior adviser’s befuddling remarks about the federal stockpile during the briefing last night. To recap: Kushner made the head-scratching assertion that Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies belonged to the federal government — and not the people living in U.S. states.
“The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use. So we’re encouraging the states to make sure that they’re assessing the needs, they’re getting the data from their local situations and then trying to fill it with the supplies that we’ve given them,” he said.
As former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub and others pointed out on Twitter, the federal stockpile’s own website describes it’s purpose as exactly the opposite of Kushner’s insinuation: “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.”
Coincidentally, there has been an update to the federal stockpile website since then.
The Trump administration just changed its language about the Strategic National Stockpile on an HHS website to jibe with Jared Kushner's claim that this isn't for the states.
Before vs. After: pic.twitter.com/yD4O2b1IEw
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) April 3, 2020
As I mentioned yesterday, this was perhaps the type of blunder that occurs when you continuously put an inexperienced person in a leadership position, as Trump has done repeatedly with Kushner since he took office.
But this also smells a bit like Kushner was recruited to save face for his father-in-law as Trump engages in an all-out war with governors who have been incessantly requesting more supplies from the federal government — supplies and equipment requests that, besides in the case of Florida for some reason the Trump administration has nearly fully failed to fulfill.
Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:
What The Investigations Team Is Watching
Matt Shuham is gathering reports on the moving tribute crew members gave to the Navy captain who was relieved of his duties after raising alarm about the spread of the coronavirus among his sailors onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Kate Riga is looking into various efforts by lawmakers to hold the federal government accountable for the coronavirus response.
Tierney Sneed and Josh Kovensky are working on a story about funeral homes in Albany, Georgia, a community hit particularly hard by the coronavirus in recent days.
What The Breaking News Team Is Watching
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci called on his own boss to issue a national stay-at-home order, saying during a CNN town hall on Thursday evening that he doesn’t understand “why that’s not happening.” We’ve been covering Fauci’s breaks with the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response for some time and will continue to monitor this development.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was called out for a tweet bashing the media during an interview with MSNBC Friday morning. In the tweet, Rubio claimed that “some in our media can’t contain their glee and delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than #China” and that they were engaging in “grotesque” and “bad” journalism. He defended the assertion during the interview.
3:00 p.m. ET: Trump will host a roundtable discussion with energy executives in the Oval Office.
5:00 p.m. ET: The White House will hold its coronavirus task force press briefing.
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
It Will Haunt History — Josh Marshall
What We Are Reading
Mark Meadows Considers New White House Press Secretary — Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene