Happy Hour News Briefs
This report from Vanity Fair is the confirmation that Jar-Jar really is dangerously stupid — like 200,000-dead Americans stupid, and pure evil:
On the evening of Saturday, March 21, a small group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business executives, and venture capitalists gathered in the White House Situation Room to offer their help to the Trump administration as it confronted a harrowing shortage of lifesaving supplies to battle COVID-19.
More than seven weeks after the federal government first learned that a new and lethal coronavirus was barreling toward U.S. shores, hospitals were pleading for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment to safeguard their medical staff. Intensive care nurses had been photographed wearing garbage bags instead of gowns. More than 19,600 Americans had been diagnosed with the disease, and at least 260 had died.
That’s setting up the background, harkening back to those halcyon days of March…
The meeting’s attendees—some present, some dialing in—were a bipartisan collection of heavy hitters. The ad hoc group had spent weeks canvassing America’s private sector to map the shortages and draft a plan to solve them. Briefly using a hotel ballroom in Washington, D.C., as a makeshift headquarters, they sought answers to some urgent questions: What capacity did America’s companies have to manufacture protective equipment and medical supplies? What supplies could be ordered now? Were there hidden reserves?
They had secured commitments from dozens of major corporations, including General Motors, to manufacture ventilators, map supply needs, create a system for contact tracing, and much more.
Those representing the private sector expected to learn about a sweeping government plan to procure supplies and direct them to the places they were needed most. New York, home to more than a third of the nation’s coronavirus cases, seemed like an obvious candidate. In turn they came armed with specific commitments of support, a memo on the merits of the Defense Production Act, a document outlining impediments to the private-sector response, and two key questions: How could they best help? And how could they best support the government’s strategy?
So, what went wrong? Well, in a word, Kushner:
Kushner, seated at the head of the conference table, in a chair taller than all the others, was quick to strike a confrontational tone. “The federal government is not going to lead this response,” he announced. “It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do.”
One attendee explained to Kushner that due to the finite supply of PPE, Americans were bidding against each other and driving prices up. To solve that, businesses eager to help were looking to the federal government for leadership and direction.
“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner said dismissively. “That is not the role of government.”
The same attendee explained that although he believed in open markets, he feared that the system was breaking. As evidence, he pointed to a CNN report about New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his desperate call for supplies.
“That’s the CNN bullshit,” Kushner snapped. “They lie.”
According to another attendee, Kushner then began to rail against the governor: “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
And it goes down from there. The short answer is that Kushner is yet another free-market idiot libertarian, but that is too facile. He approached this shadow operation with malice combined with his own arrogance and stupidity. And because he believed in Deep State machinations, he brought in his own consultants: he wanted to run the pandemic response like a business.
This is a long, deeply-sourced article. I know that VF only gives so many freebies per month before the firewall closes, but this article is worth it. Pour a tall one and settle in.
Kushner is as stupid a summabitch as you may have already thought, but he’s also a really evil person.