White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Donald Trump's son-in-law, said on Tuesday that Trump had been "very forthcoming" on the virus, despite admitting in February he downplayed the threat.
Kushner also criticized "governors" and "the media" for being "hysterical" about the administration's response to the coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 194,300 Americans to date.
Trump told reporter Bob Woodward in February that he was actively downplaying the threat of the virus, even while he was aware that it was extremely deadly and airborne.
Kushner has been part of the core team leading the administration's response to the outbreak. In April, when the death toll was 58,000, he described the Trump team's actions as a "great success story."
Over 136,000 have died since then.
From the Sep. 15 edition of NBC's "Today" show:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, co-host: This was back on February 7 that the president said the coronavirus was airborne and deadly, five times more deadly than the flu.
For the sake of time I'm not going to play all the times after that where he downplayed it. He's acknowledged downplaying it after that.
Do you think he should have leveled more with the American people about the danger of this coronavirus the minute he knew?
JARED KUSHNER: Yeah, the president was very forthcoming with the American people about what he knew and when he knew it. President Trump, obviously, he banned travel from China, he banned travel from Europe.
This was an unprecedented pandemic and as different facts evolve the president informed the public. Dr. Fauci was on the record the other day saying that the president was very transparent and he agreed with the way that the president characterized things at the time.
This was an iterative thing.
But again, what's been very remarkable has been America's response to the virus, where we launched Project Airbridge, we brought all the PPE we needed, we figured out how to ramp up testing, everyone who needed a ventilator got a ventilator.
And so all the different challenges that people were hysterical about, whether it was governors or the media, we worked with them very closely. And again, it was very good to have an entrepreneurial president who doesn't do things in a bureaucratic way.
He ran to all the different problems, he ran into them, he confronted them seriously, and we created good solutions for a lot of them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.