- Ahead of an address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump is reportedly waiting on a final sign-off from his son-in-law before going with the White House coronavirus task force’s recommendation.
- Jared Kushner’s involvement is part of a discombobulated White House response to the virus, with Trump “reluctant to declare an expansive emergency to combat the escalating coronavirus outbreak, fearful of stoking panic with such a dramatic step,” according to Politico.
- Instead, Trump is looking at a more limited package that would fit with his messaging downplaying the severity of the virus, Politico reported.
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Just when Jared Kushner’s policy portfolio couldn’t get any thicker, the president’s son-in-law has reportedly found himself at the crux of a critical coronavirus decision.
Kushner already helms the White House’s efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East and resolve the opioid crisis in the US while also serving as the liaison to Mexico, China, and the global Muslim community. He is now set to be the final sign-off on the White House coronavirus task force’s recommendation to the president ahead of his address on Wednesday night, according to a report from Politico.
President Donald Trump is hesitant to declare a full emergency, according to three people familiar with the decision-making who spoke with Politico, and instead leaning toward a more limited response that would keep in-line with his tendency to downplay the severity of the virus.
However, Kushner is the lynchpin to whatever Trump will announce in his address to the nation, Politico reported.
“The task force will not give Trump its final verdict” ahead of the address until Kushner “finishes his research and comes to a conclusion himself,” Politico reported.
Under the Stafford Act, Trump would be able to give federal agencies more authority and leeway to assist in transportation and shelter for those affected by the virus by tapping into the $34 billion disaster-relief fund under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On Wednesday evening, Trump announced that the US will ban all travel from Europe except for the United Kingdom, with the exception of Americans who have been appropriately screened, for thirty days beginning on Friday at midnight.
Financial markets have also plunged as the virus continues to spread and more and more countries implement restrictions on travel and day-to-day work.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by more than 1,800 points after the opening bell on Monday, and the S&P 500 tanked by seven percent, triggering a fail-safe that suspended all trading for 15 minutes.
The Dow fell another 1,465 points into a bear market on Wednesday after the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic, marking the end of the longest bull-market expansion in history.
The World Health Organization officially classified coronavirus, which leads to a disease called COVID-19, as a pandemic on Wednesday. More than 125,000 people have been infected across the globe and there have been more than 4,500 deaths.
In the US, more than 1,200 people in 42 states and Washington, D.C., have tested positive for the virus as of Wednesday, according to The New York Times, and at least 37 patients have died from it.
The president has also canceled upcoming trips to Nevada and Colorado, CNN reported.
Trump planned on attending a fundraiser in Las Vegas on Friday, and he was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a conference for the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday.
But White House press secretary said in a statement to CNN that the trips have been canceled “out of an abundance of caution from the Coronavirus outbreak.”