In March, as New York City plunged into lockdown and became the epicenter of the world’s COVID-19 crisis, a group of “Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business executives, and venture capitalists” met at the White House to offer help securing PPE for essential workers who had been filmed on the news wearing garbage bags because of the lack of protective gear.
They were asked to meet with Jared Kushner about the Defense Production Act, which would compel companies to produce PPE and help New York out in its dire situation, but that was far from what they got.
According to a new story in Vanity Fair, Kushner told them, “The federal government is not going to lead this response… It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do.”
“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner added. “That is not the role of government.”
Vanity Fair reports: “One attendee reportedly pointed to a CNN article about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s calls for help with supplies, which Kushner dismissed as ‘CNN bullshit.’ Kushner reportedly went on: ‘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.’ … Though Kushner’s arguments ‘made no sense,’ said the attendee, there seemed to be little hope of changing his mind. ‘It felt like Kushner was the president. He sat in the chair and he was clearly making the decisions.'”