How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”

Katherine Eban in Vanity Fair.

In early April:

“. . . the prospect of launching a large-scale national plan was losing favor, said one public health expert in frequent contact with the White House’s official coronavirus task force.

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.

On April 27, Trump stepped to a podium in the Rose Garden, flanked by members of his coronavirus task force and leaders of America’s big commercial testing laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and finally announced a testing plan: It bore almost no resemblance to the one that had been forged in late March, and shifted the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.”

When “effective political strategizing” substitutes for human decency.

What I’m Reading

Book—College (Un)bound by Jeffrey Selingo. The subtitle, “The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students,” is representative of Selingo’s clear and descriptive writing. A must read for anyone interested in the present state and probable future course of higher education.

Magazine essay—Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair, Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer? The central character, Sergey Aleynikov is a fascinating case study. And Lewis is on my list of writers who I read irrespective of the topic. On the surface this essay is about a computer programmer, high-speed trading, and Wall Street avarice. Deeper down it’s about human nature, passion, personal transformation, and happiness.

Blog post—The Surprising Effect of Small Efforts over Time by MMM. Here’s a three minute intro to MMM. Wonderful insight, small efforts, repeated over time, will almost always surprise you.