In a scathing op-ed for The Guardian, Arwa Mahdawi outlines her belief that Jared Kushner -- senior adviser to President Donald Trump and an authority on the coronavirus task force -- may be the "most dangerous man in the U.S."
Mahdawi pointed to Kushner's first public appearance at a White House coronavirus press briefing on Thursday and the "glaringly obvious" danger he poses. She noted Kushner has been able to fly under the radar thus far due to his "wooden demeanour."
"Kushner was supposedly at the press briefing to explain the work he has been doing," Mahdawi wrote. "However, despite him repeating the word 'data' 13 times, it quickly became clear that he has no idea what he is doing."
There was one moment during the appearance -- which was slammed by Vox writer Aaron Rupar for its use of empty corporate buzzwords -- that drew the particular attention of critics. Kushner suggested the federal stockpile of medical equipment, which is crucial for hospitals dealing with coronavirus patients, is not intended for state use.
"It's supposed to be our stockpile," he said, which Mahdawi suggested reflected his lack of understanding of the supply.According to Mahdawi, Kushner's position of power reflects a new take on the "Peter principle," which is a management theory that postulates people in hierarchies rise until their "level of incompetence." She suggested that Kushner reflects a corollary to the Peter principle.
"[T]he idea that a handful of mediocre middle managers, through a combination of privilege and luck, manage to rise way beyond their level of incompetence to a point where their hubris poses a serious threat to the world."Mahdawi concluded her piece by claiming Kushner is "not just a doofus" but "dangerous."
The Guardian writer is not alone in her sentiments. In an op-ed for NBC News, Jordan Libowitz claimed that Kushner's position on the task force exemplifies the dangers of nepotism. He suggested Kushner's authority on the task force is putting American lives at stake. In this sense, Libowitz wrote the situation was different from the standard Trump family grift.
Libowitz noted the private nature of the COVID-19 task force, which casts a shadow over Kushner's work. He also pointed to the 39-year-old investor's past troubles with his financial disclosures as a cause for concern. For example, Kushner previously failed to disclose his co-ownership of Cadre, a real estate investment company, which likely benefited from the opportunity zones he and his wife, Ivanka Trump, championed. The tax breaks the Kushner family would potentially receive is just one of many opportunities for corruption that exist within Kushner's shadow coronavirus task force.