As the United States roared beyond 1,000,000 people infected with the novel coronavirus, many people are also discussing another disturbing number: More people in the U.S. have now died because of the novel coronavirus than the number of Americans killed during the Vietnam War. As NPR points out, this means the novel coronavirus death rate has climbed notably higher. It’s been close to a month since we rolled past the number of people killed during 9/11. And what does Jared Kusher, White House senior adviser, have to say about all of this?
According to his interview on Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning, he seems to feel he has much to brag about. Trump’s son-in-law said: “The federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story.”
“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this,” Kushner said in the clip, which is now going viral on Twitter. “I think that we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed.” Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci wants every single American who wants a test to be able to have a test by June. Seems like a pretty important milestone, no?
Kushner stressed that the goal is to reopen the economy.
“The eternal lockdown crowd can make jokes on television but the reality is that the data is on our side,” Kusher continued. “And President Trump has created a pathway to safely open up our country and make sure that we get our economy going.”
This “pathway,” of course, has low-income workers, people of color, food service workers, and others terrified about returning to work for minimal wages, perhaps without health insurance or affordable child care as students stay out of school, all while only a minuscule fraction of the public has been tested for the virus. Though Trump himself recently told governors to consider and maybe “get going” on reopening schools, so while the logic is baffling, it’s apparently consistent between Trump and Kushner.
“The hope is by July,” Kushner suggested, “the country is really rocking again.” Again, this coincides with Trump’s plan for a Fourth of July event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this year… in spite of the global pandemic.
In other bizarre Fox-related news, The New York Times shut down Sean Hannity’s request for a retraction (or even an apology), alleging the newspaper “mischaracterized” his coverage of the pandemic. Between The New York Times and The Washington Post, excellent analyses are out about just what Trump has been saying during his press briefings and related remarks on the novel coronavirus: he praises himself more than anything else, and he congratulates himself and other top members of his team more than he extends empathy to anyone, including condolences for victims.
All of this, of course, while our testing number remains shamefully low, and the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data suggests our death toll is actually far higher than has been reported.