President Donald Trump has tapped his son-in-law Jared Kushner to oversee the coronavirus task force effort to curve the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading across the United States. The move was prompted by Trump’s deep distrust of health experts, according to Bloomberg News.
Now, Kushner, who has also been tasked with corraling the opioid epidemic and solving the Middle East conflict that has simmered for decades, will lead the government’s efforts to stem the rising tide of coronavirus victims.
As noted by Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman, Trump’s deep distrust of experts will likely impede the work of health experts as they battle the global pandemic.
“In an ordinary administration, the president would have responded to mounting pandemic concerns by designating a career technocrat — say, someone like the preeminent public health expert in the government, Dr. Anthony Fauci — to take charge of national response,” Feldman writes. “Instead, Trump at first gave us no one; then Vice President Mike Pence, who foundered; and now, his son-in-law and preferred last-ditch trouble-shooter, Jared Kushner, who must try to impose some logical order on a situation that has already fallen into substantial disarray.”
“What makes the current state of affairs so tricky is that when an emergency is actually going on, it isn’t that easy for anyone to supervise how the executive branch is actually deploying its power. If the president ignores or circumvents his experts in the bureaucracy, it can’t realistically be stopped,” he warned.
“If Kushner can re-empower the experts who are supposed to be in charge, that would be a big win for the way government is supposed to work. And it would almost certainly save lives,” he concluded.
You can read Felmand’s entire report here.