Jared Kushner, the son-in-law to President Donald Trump, made an appearance at the daily White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday. Given that several people have openly criticized how the administration has been handling these briefings, it seemed that few found his presence to be reassuring.
"What the president asks is that all of the recommendations we make be based on data," Kushner said at one point. "He wanted us to be very rigorous, to make sure we were studying the data, collecting data. A lot of things in this country are happening very quickly, and we want to make sure that we're trying to keep updating our models and making sure that we were making informed decisions and informed recommendations based on the data that we're able to collect and put together. And the president wanted to make sure that we had the best people doing the best jobs, and making sure we had the right people focus on all the things that needed to happen to make sure that we can deliver, in these unusual times, for the American people."
As the global tally for coronavirus cases has topped one million on Thursday, people have been imploring for more factually-relevant briefings that contain hard facts and information on what people can do to slow the spread. Suffice to say that quite a number of people didn't find Kushner's time at the podium did so.
Here's Jared Kushner going for the world record of most meaningless corporate buzzwords used in a single one-minute video clip pic.twitter.com/Vy1QJEhLQa— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 2, 2020
Jared Kushner, having watched "Contagion," "Outbreak" and three and a half seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" will save us now.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 2, 2020
Trump had formally declared coronavirus as a national emergency on March 13. "Two very big words," he said at the time. "The action I am taking will open up access to $50 billion for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease."
It is unbearably heartbreaking to think of all of the brilliant, passionate, resourceful experts we have available to deal with this coronavirus and then to think that Trump has largely ignored them, turning instead to Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks.— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) April 2, 2020
One takeaway from Jared Kushner briefing: we did not start active response phase of dealing with this crisis until 13 days ago.
13 days!— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) April 2, 2020
However, Trump's formal declaration also drew ire after he paraded out a number of big-box CEOs were also present — and not practicing any of the social distancing guidelines that were in place at the time.
You know Trump is flailing when they go get Jared Kushner out of storage.— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) April 2, 2020
Jared Kushner just described an insane situation. One of Trump's friends told him they were running low on N95 masks in NYC, so Trump told Jared to ship the masks.
If that is how our supply chain is running, through private requests to Trump from his friends, we are screwed.— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) April 2, 2020
Among those sounding off against the president include his former political rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who advised people to not "take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse."
Jared Kushner is at the coronavirus press conference. Dr. Fauci is not. So there’s definitely no reason for anyone to air this garbage. #StopAiringTrump— Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 2, 2020
Jared Kushner says that the president wants "the best people doing the best jobs." Every single reporter in that room should ask Jared Kushner, who has zero experience in public health, if HE believes that he is actually "the best person" for this job.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 2, 2020
Jared Kushner is helping lead the government’s coronavirus response while his brother Joshua Kushner is the co-founder of a digital health insurance startup company called Oscar Health. They’re making money from the pandemic like vultures, at taxpayer expense, and it is not ok.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 2, 2020
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also faced off against Trump on Twitter after the president tweeted that Cuomo needed to "do more" in his response to the pandemic.
Today at the White House press briefing on the largest health crisis in generations, we're hearing from Jared Kushner, a presidential advisor who has no medical training and no relevant expertise, and only has his job because his wife is the president's daughter pic.twitter.com/tW9DDDAqYC— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) April 2, 2020
Jared Kushner has no business telling Americans anything he is not an elected official he is a very bad landlord.— Rosanna Arquette🌎✌🏼 (@RoArquette) April 2, 2020
Reminder that Jared Kushner first told Trump Coronavirus was Fake News.
Then he asked his brother’s father-in-law to crowdsource the cure in a Facebook group.
Now Trump has him in charge of the response.
We’ll never know how many lives could have been saved by mere competence.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) April 2, 2020
"I have to do more? No — YOU have to do something! You're supposed to be the President," Cuomo replied.
"Let's hear Jared Kushner's thoughts on how to fight this pandemic" said no sane individual ever in the history of humankind.
But...here we are.— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) April 2, 2020
america needs to hear from jared kushner during coronavirus about as much as it needed to hear from ja rule after 9/11— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) April 2, 2020
Watching Jared Kushner is like watching Doogie Howser but if like Doogie was just a regular teenager and not a child prodigy but he still performed surgeries.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 2, 2020
Ivanka Trump has also been dealt her fair share of criticism, both in official and unofficial capacities — including posting years-old photos to encourage social distancing as well as for leaving the water running while in a video of her three children washing their hands.