There's now a concerted effort among conservative media entertainers, pundits, Trump's advisers and Trump himself to popularize the idea that we should declare victory and end self-isolation next week, but exactly which of Trump's advisers is giving him the worst advice?
I would have guessed it was his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow who appeared on Fox News this morning and said we need to restart the economy and make "difficult tradeoffs," implying that some Americans will just have to die for stock value, but Vanity Fair reports that the effort is being driven Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
An unnamed Republican source says Kushner has been delivering laser-brained miracle cures and other nonsense to Trump.
Sources say that Trump is leaning toward telling at least some Americans to return to work after the 15-day social-distancing period ends on March 31. This puts Trump on a potential collision course with [Dr. Anthony Fauci] that many fear will end with Fauci being fired or quitting. [...]
Trump’s view that he can ignore Fauci’s opinion may be influenced by advice he’s getting from Jared Kushner, whose outside-the-box efforts have often rankled those in charge of managing the crisis. According to two sources, Kushner has told Trump about experimental treatments he’s heard about from executives in Silicon Valley. “Jared is bringing conspiracy theories to Trump about potential treatments,” a Republican briefed on the conversations told me. Another former West Wing official told me: “Trump is like an 11-year-old boy waiting for the fairy godmother to bring him a magic pill.” (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)
Throughout the crisis, Kushner has counseled Trump that the crisis isn’t as bad as the media is portraying. Two sources said Vice President Mike Pence has complained to Trump about Kushner’s meddling in the work of the coronavirus task force. (Another former West Wing official disputed this, saying Pence wouldn’t openly challenge the Trump family. “Pence is politically smart,” the former official said.)
Trump has placed Jared Kushner in charge of many things big and small over the years, and you know what? Exactly none of them have turned out well for the world. Kushner is not actually an expert on anything. He inherited his real estate business which he nearly drove into the ground before he was bailed out by Qatar. Sound familiar?
There are times -- nearly all times -- when it appears that Kushner is less of an adviser and more of a handler. Trump is not capable of handling virtually anything himself and he offloads it to an unqualified and unaccountable family member who has never paid a price for policy failures he signed off on.
The guy whose big Middle East peace idea was to build a Starbucks in Gaza is Trump's most trusted adviser during a global pandemic.