Jared Kushner said Trump put Pence in charge of the US coronavirus response because ‘he didn’t have anything else to do,’ book says

  • Then-VP Mike Pence was put in charge of fighting the coronavirus when it emerged last year.
  • A new book on the final year of Trump’s presidency is shedding light on why that decision was made. 
  • Jared Kushner reportedly said that Pence got the job because “he didn’t have anything else to do.”

An upcoming book has shed light into former President Donald Trump’s thinking when he tapped his vice president, Mike Pence, to lead the battle against the coronavirus last year. 

“I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” is set to be released next week by Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. The Daily Beast published a preview of the book before its release. 

According to the Daily Beast, the book detailed an interaction between the president’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, at the end of February 2020, when the virus began to spread out of control in the US.

Kushner told Azar that Trump had installed Pence as coronavirus czar because “he didn’t have anything else to do,” the book says, according to The Daily Beast. 

Trump, Pence, Kushner, and Azar did not immediately return Insider’s requests for comment on the book excerpt.

Trump and Pence appeared to have a strained relationship during their time in office.

According to the author Michael Wolff’s latest book, “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” the two men’s weekly lunches typically consisted of Pence having ten minutes to tell Trump “exactly how hard he was working for him” before Trump turned on the TV.

In the final days of the Trump presidency, Pence fell out with Trump when he refused to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Pence never had the power to do so, but Trump believed that his vice president could stop the confirmation of Biden’s win. 

In recent weeks, Pence has been giving strong indications that he will run for the White House himself in 2024. Trump has been doing the same

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