What are the chances that one of the most profound intellectuals and nimble polymaths in the United States – nay, the world – just so happens to be married to the daughter of the President of the United States?
Some scholars spend their lives trying to understand the deep historical and religious fissures that divide warring camps in the Middle East. Others spend a lifetime trying to interpret the subtleties and nuances of effective foreign diplomacy. Others, still, study for decades in schools, laboratories, hospitals and health agencies to try to meaningfully comprehend how public policy affects public health.
A select few, over the course of their careers, will rise above the pack to distinguish themselves as figures of influence in their chosen fields. It is quite exceptional, then, that the U.S. has lucked into a relationship with a man who just so happens to rise above every pack, in every field.
Jared Kushner is that person. A man who emerged from humble multimillionaire beginnings to later become – through the hard work of marriage – a senior White House adviser and one of the most powerful unelected figures in the U.S. It’s refreshing to see genuine merit finally rewarded.
Mr. Kushner’s background is in real estate and privileged overconfidence. That has equipped him with the skills necessary to pilot a myriad of important files: new trade deals, criminal justice reform, peace in the Middle East and, now, COVID-19 response. And Mr. Kushner – a man who knows these files as intricately as a cursory Google search will allow – is again ready to serve.
The U.S. is in the thick of its COVID-19 crisis. It leads the world in the number of deaths, with reported cases in all 50 states and particularly ruthless outbreaks in New York State and New Jersey. Nearly 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, which means millions of people have simultaneously lost their employer-provided health-insurance coverage just as a terribly contagious virus spreads across the country.
So what Americans need right now – what everyone needs, really – is a capable, sober voice who can draw upon his or her vast experience to assuage the fears of an anxious nation. Mr. Kushner, fresh off achieving peace in Israel, has been called upon to pretend to be that capable, sober voice.
Earlier this month, the first son-in-law took to the podium during the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing to speak to his medical procurement efforts as a new central figure working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Mr. Kushner has been running a sort of “shadow” coronavirus task force, which, according to various reports, has been duplicating and complicating the work of the task force run under Vice-President Mike Pence. When questioned about those conflicts, Mr. Kushner clarified that he is “serving really at the direction of the Vice-President,” while resisting the urge to draw a parallel to that time his water polo team accidentally appointed two vice-captains.
Mr. Kushner also took the opportunity to dispel the apparent myth that the federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment is for use by the states in the case of a public health emergency. “It’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Mr. Kushner said decisively. “It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”
Indeed, Mr. Kushner recognizes that if ever the coronavirus outbreak spreads to parts of the United States not under the jurisdiction of one of the united states, the federal government will need that Strategic National Stockpile for itself. This is Management 101.
Rest assured, all will fall into place with Mr. Kushner at the helm. He has grown considerably from the person foreign powers identified as a possible target for influence, and the guy who couldn’t get top security clearance without his father-in-law’s help, and the person who exposed the White House to a possible hacking by trading WhatsApp messages with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – to the leader he is now: all of those same things, but just a little bit older. It is so special that nearly 330 million Americans can come along for his learning experience.
Not that he really needs it, mind you. With the U.S. facing the gravest health and economic crisis it has confronted in a century, it would follow that only the most seasoned, accomplished, judicious and informed minds would captain the ship with millions of lives at stake. In time, his name will be inscribed among history’s greatest leaders: Caesar, Napoleon, Churchill and Jared.
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