Jared Kushner Squirms Around Questions on Coronavirus Deaths, US Postal Service in Interview

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House senior advisor, was asked about coronavirus deaths and the chaos at the U.S. Postal Service while on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday morning, but tried to guide the conversation to the Israel-U.A.E. peace agreement reached last week. Kushner defended the administrations' response to the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the average of 1,500 deaths per day is less than the 2,500 average. When it came to the USPS situation, Kushner was asked if Trump's attacks on the service would negatively affect the re-election campaign, but Kushner said they are "very confident."

At the start of the interview, Face the Nation anchor Margaret Brennan noted there were over 1,500 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. on Wednesday, and the CDC recently predicted the country will have 200,000 deaths by Labor Day. As of Sunday, the number of deaths is at 169,841, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Saturday, there were at least 1,059 new deaths and 50,335 new cases, reports the New York Times. This data led Brennan to ask Kushner if he believes the administration has control of the virus and what they might have done wrong.

"Back in May, I believe the rate was about 2,500 deaths a day, so we're still below that peak. We have seen over the last two weeks that hospitalizations have come down," Kushner replied. He said Trump has "taken a very aggressive approach, not just in the hot spots, but also in what we call the ember cities to push all the different measures that we can take, like wearing a mask, social distancing, using best practice."

After Kushner spoke about the vaccine trials, Brennan asked what the "actual conviction" is of the coronavirus task force and if they are trying to contain the spread of just isolate the most vulnerable Americans. "We know a lot more than we did five months ago when we- when we did 15 days to slow the spread," Kushner replied. According to Kushner, the task force has "created a lot of ways to prevent it from spreading in certain places" and created "a lot of ways to help people who do get it have [to] have a much more benign experience with it." He said the task force is taking on a much more "strategic approach." Later, he said the president was taking a "common sense approach" to the virus that is "based on data, not based on conventional thinking."

As for the Postal Service situation, Brennan pointed out that Trump did better with voters 65 and older, a vulnerable population at the moment due to the pandemic, in the 2016 election. She asked Kushner if the Trump administration was afraid of disenfranchising elder voters who would prefer to vote by mail than risk exposure to the coronavirus. At first, Kushner cited a comment from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who recently said people should not be afraid to vote in person if people wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. "We're very confident," Kushner said. "We're in much better shape now than we were in 2016. We have over a million and half volunteers in the field, 1,500 paid staff on board in all the different states. We're playing in states that we didn't win last time. We think we have a great opportunity."