In his first appearance in a coronavirus briefing on Thursday evening, the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made the argument that national stockpile's reserves are exclusively the property of the federal government.
"The notion of the federal stockpile was it's supposed to be our stockpile," Kushner said during the briefing. "It's not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use."
Media maven Sue O'Connell joined Boston Public Radio on Friday and denounced Kushner's position as a senior advisor to the president, pointing to his lack of background in public health or government.
"Who is this 'our'? Is it the White House's? The Trump administration's? Theirs to wheel and deal?" asked O'Connell. "The use of the word 'our' is just emblematic of how this administration views what the public good is, and it's a transactional pawn to be used to decide whether or not they're going to reward states if they ask the right way for things."
O'Connell also discussed reporting from The Washington Postthat the found that the official government website for the stockpile, before Kushner's address, indicated it was designed to hold the nation's largest supply of life-saving supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. The Post reported that the text of the website was altered on Friday morning, seemingly to better align with Kushner's statements.
Sue O’Connell is co-publisher of Bay Windows and the South End News, NECN's political commentator and Explainer-in-Chief.