Apr 29, 2020 - Health

Kushner calls administration's coronavirus response "a great success story"

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday that the federal government "rose to the challenge" of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the Trump administration's response a "great success story."

The big picture: More than 1 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus and 58,000 have died as of Wednesday — more than the total number of U.S. deaths during the Vietnam War.

  • The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for its response to the pandemic, with many reports suggesting that the president failed to act on warnings from the intelligence community about the threat of the virus as early as January and February.
  • The administration has been praised, on the other hand, for its use of the Defense Production Act to compel manufacturers to produce ventilators and other critical supplies.

The next major hurdle is ramping up coronavirus testing, which is viewed as key to reopening the economy. Trump has contradicted governors and public health experts who say states lack sufficient testing capacity, and announced in a recent plan that the federal government will act as a "supplier of last resort."

What Kushner is saying: "I think that we've achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So the government, federal government, rose to the challenge and this is a great success story. I think that's really what needs to be told."

  • He added: "We have worked Democrats with Republicans and we've put our political differences aside, and by doing that we've saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. ... I think you will see by June a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is by July, the country is really rocking again."

Go deeper: Fauci says everyone who needs a test should be able to get one by June

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.