ANKARA 

The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of US manufacturing independence from foreign supplies, Jared Kushner, senior adviser at the White House, has said.

“The campaign platform that President [Donald] Trump ran on in 2016 was basically ‘you have to secure your borders and you have to control your own manufacturing as a national security issue,'” Kushner told Fox News’ The Next Revolution program on Sunday.

“I think those have been totally vindicated positions from the virus, and I doubt it will be easy for people to argue against them in the future.”

As the leader of the federal government’s effort to distribute emergency equipment to the states, Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, created his own pandemic team to work alongside the official White House coronavirus task force led by US Vice President Mike Pence.

“We figured out how to really stimulate that supply,” he said. “We’re anticipating for the month of May, the number we were originally asked to do, we can exceed it (…) we think we can double that number and we should have more than ample amount of tests in the market for the month of May.”

He noted that the White House, and Health and Human Services Department spent the weekend communicating with governors to effectively develop their own testing strategy.

“We’ve eliminated a lot of problems when it comes to testing, and I think we will continue to see it do better and better over the coming weeks,” he added.

Kushner also announced a federal effort to distribute additional supply, including test kits and personal protective equipment, to nursing homes and other vulnerable communities.

“We’re thinking of ways right now to redo our stockpile given the nature of the hospital system and the medical distribution system, and figure out how we can take all the learnings from this virus and figure out how we can be more prepared for the future,” he stressed, as many states look towards reopening of the economy.

The US continues to lead in COVID-19 cases and virus-linked deaths worldwide. The Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University’s running tally counted nearly 966,000 infections and almost 54,900 deaths with over 107,000 recoveries.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Trump administration has been criticized over shortage of test kits and other protective equipment.

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