- With the country’s best medical experts available to the White House, Jared Kushner decided to take a different direction in developing a national COVID-19 test strategy.
- According to a new Vanity Fair report, Kushner hired his college roommate to work in a team tasked with optimizing the tests at the federal level.
- While Kushner’s ubiquity is not new to major White House initiatives – experts mocked his coronavirus “impact team” as a “slim suit crowd” – the details of the test plan report are new.
- Kushner’s plan “just went up in the air,”
- According to the report, the team also obtained 1 million defunct corona virus tests from a company that misspelled its own name on an invoice.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
If it’s a big problem at the Trump White House, Jared Kushner is probably the right point.
When tasked with developing a national coronavirus testing strategy, the son-in-law and senior advisor to the president went to his college roommate to take an initiative that eventually “just went up in the air,” attendees told Vanity Fair Week.
The Vanity Fair report released on Thursday included new details on Kushner’s role in the botched botched coronavirus response in the country, particularly in forming a handpicked team to develop a strategy that was never implemented.
Efforts to build an advanced testing and tracing facility nationwide have ceased, the report said. One explanation that was said to have caused Kushner to abandon his plan was the feeling in the White House that outbreaks would be limited to blue states, which would provide cover for the Trump administration to hold democratic governors responsible for the damage caused by the pandemic .
The report also states that Kushner’s team obtained 1 million defunct COVID-19 tests from a company that misspelled its own name on an invoice as Cogna Tecnology Solutions.
Roommate Adam Boehler was part of Kushner’s “brain trust” of private sector personalities who worked on the virus response, Vanity Fair said. One of the people on Kushner’s team, Politico described the group in March as the “A team of people who are getting ready”.
The 41-year-old Boehler, who was a roommate during his studies in the summer, is CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation. He had a background in private equity before becoming the founder and CEO of Landmark Health, one of the nation’s largest home healthcare providers.
Boehler’s father, Dr. Rich Boehler works in Landmark’s office in Latham, New York, and has a rich background as Chief Medical Officer, according to his LinkedIn page.
In 2018, Adam Boehler was appointed director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. While Boehler has a medical background, he has no medical degree. He served in a team led by Kushner, the so-called test tsars of the Trump administration, Adm. Brett Giroir, the deputy health minister.
Kushner’s preference for outsiders in the private sector over government officials with recognized expertise is part of a pattern that has been widely reported. An article in the New York Times in April described how Federal Emergency Management Agency officials ridiculed Kushner’s “Impact Team” as a “slim suit crowd”.
“Other agencies were in their own bubbles,” one of the participants next to Vanus Fair told Kushner’s team. “The circles never overlapped.”