Jared Kushner claims New York Times wrongly reported he downplayed COVID internally: ‘This was false’ – Fox News

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EXCLUSIVE — Former President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner claims in his upcoming book that The New York Times falsely reported that he downplayed COVID internally during the early stages of the pandemic, Fox News Digital has learned. 

In an advanced excerpt of his new book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” Kushner, who is now 41, and served as a senior advisor to Trump, pushed back on the Gray Lady in a section of the memoir about the beginning of his involvement in the COVID response. Kushner wrote that deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell whispered in his ear during a March 2020 meeting about a completely different topic that then-President Trump was considering shutting down travel from Europe, and he should be there for the important decision. 

“Up until that moment, I had not been involved in the White House response to COVID-19,” he wrote. 

Former White House senior advisor Jared Kushner's new book, "Breaking History: A White House memoir," hits stores on August 23. 

Former White House senior advisor Jared Kushner’s new book, “Breaking History: A White House memoir,” hits stores on August 23.  (AP)

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“As the virus spread, the nation’s top doctors and health-care experts began visiting the White House on a daily basis, following a predictable flight pattern that started down in the Situation Room, before moving up to the chief of staff’s office, over to the Oval Office, and then back down to the Situation Room,” Kushner continued. “It was impossible not to notice the buzz of activity—or the mounting worries that it represented. And it certainly caught my attention when Trump put the vice president in charge of the task force on February 26, in response to growing concerns about testing shortages nationwide.”

He then appeared to evoke a New York Times piece published on March 16, 2020, written by Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland that purportedly took readers “inside” the coronavirus response. 

In an advanced excerpt of his new book, "Breaking History: A White House Memoir," Jared Kushner pushed back on the Gray Lady. 

In an advanced excerpt of his new book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” Jared Kushner pushed back on the Gray Lady.  (Reuters)

“The New York Times later cited an unsubstantiated source to claim that I downplayed the virus internally. This was false,” Kushner wrote. “I was told that the virus was a serious threat and that the government’s medical and public health experts had the response to the public health emergency under control.” 

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Indeed, Haberman and Weiland reported “Kushner’s early involvement with dealing with the virus was in advising the president that the media’s coverage exaggerated the threat.” 

The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Jared Kushner wrote in his forthcoming book that The New York Times falsely reported that he downplayed COVID internally during the early stages of the pandemic. 

Jared Kushner wrote in his forthcoming book that The New York Times falsely reported that he downplayed COVID internally during the early stages of the pandemic. 

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It wasn’t the only time the Times scolded Kushner on COVID, as an opinion column by Michelle Goldberg published on April 2, 2020, headlined, “Putting Jared Kushner In Charge Is Utter Madness,” cited anonymous reporting from Vanity Fair. The Times piece put a spotlight on an anonymous source who allegedly told Vanity Fair that Kushner felt then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “being an alarmist” about the need for ventilators. A previous Vanity Fair headline was simply, “Of course Jared Kushner told Trump the coronavirus was fake news.” 

The scathing Times opinion piece then declared, “It’s hard to believe that someone with as little expertise as Kushner could be so arrogant… Kushner has succeeded at exactly three things in his life. He was born to the right parents, married well and learned how to influence his father-in-law.” 

Fox News first reported last year that Kushner was working on a book.

“Breaking History: A White House Memoir” is expected to be available to the public Aug. 23.

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