While coronavirus infections have slowed -- at least temporarily -- we never truly solved our shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States and if we see another surge of the virus we could also see more images of health care workers scrounging for whatever they can to protect themselves.
But that doesn't mean no one tried to fix the problem.
According to Vanity Fair, a group of executives and businessmen got together earlier this year and sketched out a plan to tackle the problem, but they were shot down by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Attendees called on the White House to invoke the Defense Production Act to manufacture PPE, but Kushner told them that was a job for the free market.
One attendee explained to Kushner that due to the finite supply of PPE, Americans were bidding against each other and driving prices up. To solve that, businesses eager to help were looking to the federal government for leadership and direction.
“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner said dismissively. “That is not the role of government.”
The same attendee explained that although he believed in open markets, he feared that the system was breaking. As evidence, he pointed to a CNN report about New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his desperate call for supplies.
“That’s the CNN bullshit,” Kushner snapped. “They lie.”
According to another attendee, Kushner then began to rail against the governor: “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
“That’s when I was like, We’re screwed,” the shocked attendee told Vanity Fair.
Indeed. That's when we were screwed; when Trump's sociopathic nepotism hire declared that The Market will respond to a global pandemic for us.
The Market didn't respond and people died because of it. Nearly 200,000 at this point.
This is what appointing a "shadow task force" run by Kushner really meant. Unlike the coronavirus task force staffed by public officials with some level of public visibility if not accountability, Kushner's team was filled with relatively anonymous cronies and Jared's old frat bros who could say or do whatever they want in private.
Kushner declared the free markets will solve the virus for us back in March and we're just now seeing these quotes because Kushner has operated in secret.
I'd like to say we'll see what he's been up to if Joe Biden takes office next year, but I don't think we will. The Trump regime will destroy every document they possibly can on the way out the door and Kushner himself probably doesn't even keep documents to destroy in the first place.