Max Kennedy Jr. speaks out: Kushner’s COVID-19 group refused PPE for hospitals

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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In April, an anonymous whistleblower told Congress that Jared Kushner’s secret COVID-19 task force was a disaster for America and urged them to do something to help. On September 21, the whistleblower reveals himself to be Max Kennedy Jr. in an interview with The New Yorker.

Kennedy goes into much greater detail in the interview than what the public has seen of his April whistleblower complain.

On his first day, he showed up at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and joined around a dozen other volunteers, all in their twenties, mostly from the finance sector and with no expertise in procurement or medical issues. He was surprised to learn that they weren’t to be auxiliaries supporting the government’s procurement team. “We were the team,” he said. “We were the entire frontline team for the federal government.” The volunteers were tasked with finding desperately needed medical supplies using only their personal laptops and private e-mail accounts.

As the days passed, and the death count climbed, Kennedy was alarmed at the way the President was downplaying the crisis. “I knew from that room that he was saying things that just weren’t true,” he said. Trump told the public that the government was doing all it could, but the P.P.E. emergency was being managed by a handful of amateurs. “It was the number of people who show up to an after-school event, not to run the greatest crisis in a hundred years,” Kennedy said. “It was such a mismatch of personnel. It was one of the largest mobilization problems ever. It was so unbelievably colossal and gargantuan. The fact that they didn’t want to get any more people was so upsetting.”

The New Yorker

According to Kennedy, the Trump administration was trying to alter the expected death models and ignore experts from the beginning.

Kennedy believes that the Administration relied on volunteers in order to sidestep government experts and thereby “control the narrative.” He said that Brad Smith, one of the political appointees who directed the task force, pressured him to create a model fudging the projected number of fatalities; Smith wanted the model to predict a high of a hundred thousand U.S. deaths, claiming that the experts’ models were “too severe.”

The New Yorker

Even scarier, the administration concretely refused most of the personal protect equipment (PPE) that companies offered.

The volunteers were also told to direct millions of dollars’ worth of supplies to only five preselected distributors. Kennedy was asked to draft a justification for this decision, but refused. “Hundreds of people were sending e-mails every day offering P.P.E.,” he said, but no one in charge responded effectively. “We were super frustrated we couldn’t get the government to do more.”

The New Yorker


Photo: Gage Skidmore

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