A group of volunteers tasked with helping the Trump administration secure medical gear was told to prioritize tips from “VIPs,” including pro-Trump Fox News hosts, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been overseeing the federal government’s coronavirus response, which reportedly involved about two dozen volunteers from consulting and private equity firms such as McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group. Most of them, however, were unqualified for the tasks to which they were assigned and were subsequently unsuccessful, according to a complaint filed with the House Oversight Committee. The Trump administration reportedly told volunteers working on the supply chain to prioritize guidance from Fox News hosts such as Brian Kilmeade and Jeanine Pirro about how to obtain masks and other personal protective gear. Pirro also persistently tried to get the Trump administration to reserve a large number of face masks for a particular New York hospital, according to the Post.
Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Post that those responsible for obtaining personal protective gear should have expertise in the task at hand, otherwise “there may be decisions being made that are not fully informed and that’s going to lead to downstream effects on the response.”