During National Disaster, Kushner Suggests States Should Fend For Themselves
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has taken a more prominent role in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response in recent weeks, said during Thursday’s press briefing that the national stockpile is not meant for states to dip into to meet their needs.
“The notion of the federal stockpile is it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”
“So we’re encouraging the states to make sure that they’re assessing the needs, they’re getting the data from their local situations, and then trying to fill it with the supplies that we’ve given them,” he concluded.
States have been pleading with the federal government for medical supplies, including ventilators, face masks and other gear, as they struggle to keep up with demand and also cover projected needs during the pandemic.
Kushner’s words echo those of President Donald Trump, who has chided states for being underprepared for the pandemic and suggested that governors find their own supplies.
During Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing, Trump said states that are complaining about fierce competition in securing supplies should have been prepared before the virus hit.
“Long before this pandemic arrived, they should have been on the open market just buying,” Trump said. “There was no competition. You could have made a great price.”
“The states have to stock up,” he continued, saying it’s just “one of those things” where they waited until it was too late. “They didn’t want to spend the money, because they thought this would never happen.”