The logic, a source told Vanity Fair, was that the virus would hit Democratic-voting areas hardest and that the damage could be blamed on governors instead.
In March and early April, Kushner, a senior White House adviser, led a task force, parallel to the White House’s official efforts, to devise a plan to accelerate coronavirus testing and supply chains nationwide.
Ultimately, that was abandoned, and President Donald Trump shifted much of the responsibility for controlling outbreaks to individual states.
A public-health expert who was in regular contact with Kushner’s team told Vanity Fair’s Katherine Eban that political reasoning may have influenced the decision.
“The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” the unnamed expert said.
The expert also said the final call would have been Kushner’s. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” they said.
Several states, both red and blue, have seen significant increases in coronavirus cases since beginning to ease lockdowns. Arizona, Florida, and Texas — all of which have Republican governors — are among the states that now have more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.