Senior White House aide Jared Kushner has been given a big job by his father-in-law President Donald Trump. Fresh off his failure as the leader of a shadow task force which allegedly looted personal protective equipment from hospitals and local governments, Kushner has been tasked with finding a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, reports the Daily Beast.
“Operation Warp Speed” is Trump’s new initiative to find a vaccine for the virus by the end of the year, and Kushner is now at the helm. White House senior adviser Peter Navarro will be at Kushner’s side. Navarro had presented the idea for the initiative as early as February in a memo that was sent to the president.
The hope inside the White House is that Kushner will be able to use his relationships in the private sector to speed up the normally lengthy development process, two sources familiar with Kushner’s involvement say.
“Jared has been vocal in meetings about wanting to engage the private sector on the development of a vaccine in a similarly successful way that the administration did on ventilators, PPE, and others,” a White House official said on Tuesday.
Officials in the White House do not believe a vaccine can be found that quickly, the Beast reports. The White House itself has not released details on how it plans to have the vaccine completed so quickly.
Kushner had been in charge of allocating PPE amid the virus outbreak. His job was to weigh governors requests and create supply routes so the nation could be prepared for influxes of COVID-19 patients. But his decisions were cloaked in secrecy. He did not divulge details on his method of allocation, or why he was pilfering supplies from manufacturers, local governments, and hospitals.
Things had become so unclear, that state officials and hospital higher-ups began disguising their shipments, keeping their contents secret, and paying absorbent amounts for usually cheap equipment.
States started seeing PPE being dispersed unfairly; states that supported the Trump administration got their orders filled and then some, while those who were critical of Trump were left blowing in the wind.
The man who totally blew his first job on the task force has been given another, massively important task. We can only hope for a miracle.