Did the White House fail to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic because they didn't take it seriously? Because they actually believed their own hype? Or because Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner told him not to?
These aren't mutually exclusive options and the answer to all of these questions is probably 'yes,' but the Financial Times reported yesterday the primary reason the White House didn't make any preparation is because Kushner said it would "spook" the stock market.
President Trump was wary of making preparations for the coronavirus pandemic because he was concerned doing so would sent the stock market into a panic, the Financial Times reports. In a quote attributed to an unnamed Trump confidant who is said to speak to the president frequently, it’s claimed: “Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it... That advice worked far more powerfully on [Trump] than what the scientists were saying. He thinks they always exaggerate.”
You know what's worse for the market than signaling that you're preparing for a global pandemic? Not preparing for one.
The coronavirus pandemic would have harmed the American economy even if the Trump regime had controlled the virus from the beginning, but things are much worse today than they would have been. Stocks saw some of the steepest declines since the 1980s in March, in part, because the Trump regime took no actions that could have negated the need to shut down most of the country.
Much if not most of the value we place in stocks on a daily basis, in which shares rise and fall because of little more than soundbites and headlines, is based on emotional whim and intuition.
Wall Street collectively pressed the panic button when it dawned on them that the Trump regime was caught with their pants down. There was no safety net; no comfort blanket; no plan. Not preparing was much worse than preparing would have been.
No one should listen to Jared Kusher. Kushner is an actual slumlord who inherited everything he has and still almost lost all of it before Qatar bailed him out.