Behind the scenes, Kushner takes charge of coronavirus response

Dozens of Trump administration officials have trooped to the White House podium over the last two months to brief the public on their effort to combat coronavirus, but one person who hasn’t — Jared Kushner — has emerged as perhaps the most pivotal figure in the national fight against the fast-growing pandemic.

What started two-and-a-half weeks ago as an effort to utilize the private sector to fix early testing failures has become an all-encompassing portfolio for Kushner, who, alongside a kitchen cabinet of outside experts including his former roommate and a suite of McKinsey consultants, has taken charge of the most important challenges facing the federal government: Expanding test access, ramping up industry production of needed medical supplies, and figuring out how to get those supplies to key locations.

Kushner has even obtained a new center of power at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the crisis-response organization that’s taken over coronavirus strategy and planning — and where Kushner and his deputies ride herd on the health agencies that had been criticized for their slow responses to the pandemic earlier this year.