A supply chain group overseen by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner -- one group among three others who make up the greater coronavirus task force -- has occupied offices at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it appears that veterans of the latter do not have a very high opinion of the former.
Rather than follow established protocols and distribution methods for emergency supplies, sources at FEMA tell NBC News that Kushner and his old pals have taken over the decision making process and agency veterans have to fight to get Kushner's group to listen to anything they have to say.
Within FEMA, Kushner's group is now being referred to as "the children."
The two priorities that officials say haven't been sacrificed by Trump or his supply chain task force, dubbed "the children" inside FEMA's headquarters, are private profit and the ability of the White House to choose where supplies go.
Members of the team include friends and close allies of Kushner's. Brad Smith, described as a "volunteer" because he is on loan from his job as deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is a friend of Kushner's who has been involved in its work.
The supply chain task force leaders pushed aside federal emergency management response teams that had long-established methods for engaging assistance from the public and private sectors. Instead, they first reached out to personal contacts, according to people familiar with their operations. [...]
"Jared and his friends decided they were going to do their thing," said the senior government official involved in the response effort. "It cost weeks."
I was going to say this is what it truly means to run the government "like a business" but, upon further reflection, I'm not sure if that's fair to most businesses.
Publicly traded companies are at least subject to SEC regulations and the wrath of their own shareholders. Jared Kushner, on the other hand, is not overseen by anyone or any institution. No one can oversee Kushner because he's Trump's personal handler. No one can question Trump's handler because doing so means questioning Trump himself.
If we were actually running the government "like a business" right now, the entire Trump regime would have been forced to resign with a generous severance package and the company -- the United States in this scenario -- could possibly be placed into receivership.
Unfortunately, no one is coming to take control, as it were. We have to vote the Trumps out of office in November.
If we don't, I can scarcely imagine the number of ways they'll personally profit from any effort to stimulate the economy in the coming years. We're in the middle of a global pandemic and they're even profiting from that.