President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said in April that Trump was taking America “back from the doctors,” according to an audio recording from Bob Woodward.
At the time Kushner made his statement, over 40,000 Americans had already died of COVID-19. Over 227,000 have died as of Wednesday afternoon.
“There were three phases,” Kushner told Woodward in the interview. “There’s the panic phase, the pain phase and then the comeback phase. I do believe that last night symbolized kind of the beginning of the comeback phase. That doesn’t mean there’s not still a lot of pain and there won’t be pain for a while, but that basically was, we’ve now put out rules to get back to work. Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors. They’ve kind of – we have, like, a negotiated settlement.”
Listen to it via CNN.
Kushner — who is Trump’s son-in-law — also said, “The last thing was kind of doing the guidelines, which was interesting. And that in my mind was almost like – you know, it was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors. Right? In the sense that what he now did was, you know, he’s going to own the open-up.”
In the lead-up to his September book release, Woodward released audio of his conversations with Trump. One revealed that Trump had known how deadly COVID-19 could be in February but intentionally downplayed it in public. Woodward was criticized for waiting to release that information for months, until his White House tell-all was almost out.