Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday swiped at state governors’ handling of COVID-19 while defending the administration’s feeble response to the virus.
Kushner’s latest comments come amid revelations that Trump knowingly downplayed the pandemic, which has killed nearly 200,000 Americans, in early 2020.
When Today Show host Savannah Guthrie brought up Kushner’s astonishing victory lap in April, in which he declared Trump’s handling of the pandemic to be a “great success story” (at that point the COVID-19 death toll among Americans had surpassed that of the Vietnam War), the White House official claimed Tuesday that the administration “rose to the challenge” and “worked with the governors.”
Then Kushner made the following pronouncement: “Some governors performed better than others, and obviously history will look back and see who did their job appropriately.”
Asked about revelations that Trump knowingly downplayed the pandemic in early 2020, Kushner claimed that the President had been “very forthcoming with the American people about what he knew and when he knew it,” despite Trump privately telling journalist Bob Woodward in March that he “wanted to always play [COVID-19] down” while secretly acknowledging that the virus was “deadly.”
Additionally, Trump himself admitted last week to artificially minimizing the pandemic, supposedly to prevent “panic.”
“This was an unprecedented pandemic and as different facts evolved, the President informed the public,” Kushner said on Tuesday.
The White House adviser then praised the Trump administration’s “very remarkable” response to the virus, including issues that had caused people to become, in Kushner’s words, “hysterical.”
“All the different challenges that people were hysterical about, whether it was governors or the media, we worked with them very closely,” Kushner said.
Watch his interview here.