On Thursday—and I didn’t think this was possible—President Trump handed the mic to someone who is actually dumber and less qualified than the president, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
To date, Jared Kushner is basically following in Trump’s footsteps; his father made money in real estate and the young Kushner is eating off the fat of the land. It’s not as if he worked for it; he was born on third base and can’t stop talking about the swing that gave him a triple. Kushner took the podium during Trump’s press conference and proceeded to berate governors for needing supplies during a pandemic, claiming that New York doesn’t need 30,000 ventilators. He then did this minute-long diatribe in which he mastered the art of talking and saying nothing:
In the aptly titled New York Times piece, “Jared Kushner Is Going to Get Us All Killed,” columnist Michelle Goldberg explains Kushner’s bravado and qualifications beautifully.
Even now, it’s hard to believe that someone with as little expertise as Kushner could be so arrogant, but he said something similar on Thursday, when he made his debut at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing: “People who have requests for different products and supplies, a lot of them are doing it based on projections which are not the realistic projections.”
Kushner has succeeded at exactly three things in his life. He was born to the right parents, married well and learned how to influence his father-in-law. Most of his other endeavors — his biggest real estate deal, his foray into newspaper ownership, his attempt to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians — have been failures.
Undeterred, he has now arrogated to himself a major role in fighting the epochal health crisis that’s brought America to its knees. “Behind the scenes, Kushner takes charge of coronavirus response,” said a Politico headline on Wednesday. This is dilettantism raised to the level of sociopathy.
On Thursday evening, I asked Twitter what were Kushner’s qualifications for his role in the White House besides being a white man. Most argued that his proximity to stupidity has helped him; others included that he was rich. Some said that he’d married well, but the consensus was that he had none. Everyone mentioned that his parents paid his way into Harvard, and they were right.
“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at the Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, told The Price of Admission author Daniel Golden.
“His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”
There have been reports that Kushner, who looks like an evil penis—not that he’s a mean dick; he literally looks like a penis with a human hair hat and a suit—and Trump have been leaning on his friends for input into how to tackle a pandemic.
Wait, my hate for Kushner and his mentor must’ve made me type that because surely no one in the White House is calling his frat bros for advice on how to handle a pandemic.
Nope. I was right. From the Daily Beast:
New York’s public hospital system only received a month’s worth of desperately needed N95 masks on Thursday after President Trump heard from “friends” that they were critically low on supplies, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said. Hospital workers in the New York, the U.S. coronavirus epicenter, have been begging for weeks for more personal protective gear (PPE), telling harrowing stories of reusing masks for days, wearing trash bags as gowns, and asking for local donations of gloves. The national stockpile of equipment is running low and states have been bidding against each other for what’s left on the global market.
Kushner has reportedly manned his team with friends whose backgrounds don’t have anything to do with the positions they hold, causing one senior official to note that his crew is a “frat party.” And not even a cool frat party, but a frat party that doesn’t have enough beer or beer pong cups or wants everyone to take off their shoes inside the frat house because the maid isn’t coming until next week.
From the New York Times:
Into that void stepped Mr. Kushner, who enlisted friends with glossy entrepreneurial backgrounds to help, including Adam S. Boehler, the head of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, a foreign aid agency. Mr. Boehler, the founder of an in-home medical provider start-up and the former director of the innovation center at the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, joined Brad Smith, who currently holds that job, and Nat Turner, a software entrepreneur.
Mr. Turner once ran a snake-breeding business out of his childhood bedroom before growing up to help found and later sell Flatiron Health, a technology company that works with cancer patients and oncologists. In his efforts to help with the administration’s response to the pandemic, he has involved Flatiron employees, who have issued orders to health agencies, stirring resentment, according to a senior administration official involved in meetings.
We are in a fucking pandemic and the last person I want to hear from is a fucking moron who married “well,” whose credentials didn’t lead him to this position and who has the nerve to be an arrogant asshole while trying to inform the public of the goings-on in a crisis. And I never thought I would type the above sentence and not be talking about Trump, and yet here we are.
We deserve better, but I’m sure we’ve all accepted that we aren’t going to get it. At this point, we are in a toxic relationship with an administration we never wanted to date and have no idea how to get the fuck out of it. But no one elected Kushner; we’ve inherited him, and fuck if I’m going to listen to an evil penis tell me anything about anything without noting that he’s a dick.