Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner played a crucial role in getting New Jersey desperately needed ventilators in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic after Gov. Murphy’s chief-of-staff George Helmy reached out to him.
According to an upcoming book from Kushner, Helmy called him as New Jersey was running extremely low on ventilators, explaining to him that the state would be out of the life-saving machines in just 3 days.
“Helmy had a precise answer to all my questions about New Jersey’s usage rates. He sent me a spreadsheet calculating that New Jersey’s ventilator supply would run out in three days,” Kushner writes in his book Breaking History: A White House Memoir. “We sent five hundred right away.”
Kushner and Helmy, who both grew up in Livingston, NJ, forged a friendly relationship and agreed to work together to fight against the spread of Covid-19, despite the policy differences between Gov. Murphy and President Trump.
“We agreed to speak every day at 7:00 a.m., and I promised that as long as we had the supplies and he had the data, we would stay twenty-four to forty-eight hours ahead of New Jersey’s needs,” Kushner says.
Meanwhile, while Gov. Murphy’s administration got along with Trump for the purpose of fighting Covid-19, the same cannot be said of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Kushner writes that after the White House released 4,400 ventilators to New York from the federal stockpile, Cuomo funneled 2,000 of them to a warehouse he controlled.
“We did not send the ventilators from the federal stockpile to sit unused in New York’s stockpile,” Kushner says he told New York officials. “Please send the two thousand ventilators to New York City before people die.”