The retired US Army general who led federal relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has joined a chorus of critics slamming President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner for his take on tapping the national stockpile of medical equipment during the coronavirus crisis.
“He has no idea what the hell he’s talking about,” Lt. Gen. Russell Honore told MSNBC Friday. “And he may be confusing the situation more than he’s adding.”
Kushner, who made his debut at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing Thursday, caused a stir when he said the federal government’s supplies are meant to be a backup for the states — not their main source of ventilators, masks and other items.
“You have instances where, in cities, they’re running out, but the state still has a stockpile,” Kushner said. “And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”
“You have to take inventory in your own state and you have to show that there’s a real need,” the White House senior aide added.
But Honore, a frequent critic of Trump, said the government should be doling out its stockpiled supplies more freely, as it has done in the wake of natural disasters.
“They are confused as to what their number one priority is,” Honore said.
On Friday, Trump scolded a reporter who pressed him on what Kushner meant.
“The federal government needs it too, not just the states,” he said. “When he says ‘our,’ he’s talking about our country … You try to make it sound so bad. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
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