How lucky we are! The man and the hour have met.
Into every age there comes this epoch-defining human being. The 19th century had Napoleon, the 18th, George Washington, the 20th, Einstein and Franklin Delano Roosevelt both. How lucky for the 21st century that we have someone who combines all their virtues and all their intellect and all their business acumen into a single slim body with a suit on it. And he’s barely 39 years old! And it just so happens, also, that he is the president’s son-in-law!
What are the odds?
We would be fortunate if into this generation had been born a person capable of solving the problem of peace in the Middle East, or the opioid crisis, or how to make government work in an age of pandemic — but what are the odds that we would have all three, and that they would turn out to be the same man? Truly the gods have blessed us. Truly this is a towering intellect.
The amazing thing, too, is that if you were to listen to him talk, you would not think that this was a man who knew anything about anything. Perhaps to really understand his brilliance you must be related to him. At least there was one person who always believed in Jared Kushner, and fortunately for him, that person was the president’s son-in-law, who through a strange coincidence was also himself.
Yes, thank heavens there was one person who always knew he could rise to any challenge, and that his mind was capable of absorbing any question, no matter how complex. Could Jared Kushner be the greatest genius who has ever lived? It’s a possibility that Jared Kushner cannot rule out. He has always basked in the serene confidence that he could do his own calculations and they would, in fact, be better than anyone else’s estimates. Just because they were different did not mean they were wrong. He is applying this approach now to a grave question: As Vanity Fair reported, he is “doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.” Thank goodness, because if someone is wrong about that, people will die.
Jared Kushner was wise enough to look at the problems that ultimately fall on a country’s government to solve, and think outside the box. Maybe, after all, the stockpile of ventilators and equipment was not for the states or the people who resided in them, but for some undefined “us” who was not the states! Maybe, after all, this is not a pandemic, in which people are dying, every day, but a good opportunity to teach recalcitrant states a lesson about leadership — and perhaps question the whole notion of whether we are a nation of states at all! Maybe, after all, this would be a good time to reframe governors seeking to save the lives of their citizens as freeloaders asking for some kind of handout! (”What you have all over the country is a lot of people are asking for things that they don’t necessarily need at the moment.") So many thoughts that would never have occurred to anyone else!
How fortunate we are to have someone leading us who is never in doubt and who always, as though by magic, alights on the one solution that has simultaneously never occurred to anyone and is absolutely correct. I am glad he does not combine humility with his other virtues, or he would have put someone else in charge, on the grounds that he could not possibly be the right person to solve every question. And then where would we be? Thank God that we elected a person who happened to know this wonderful man, whom otherwise no one would have elected or appointed to anything!
Thank you, Jared, for getting us to where we are now.
Read more from Alexandra Petri:
Coronavirus: What you need to know
Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.
New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.
Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.
Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.
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