Jared Kushner, a White House advisor and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, couldn’t say for sure whether COVID-19 might lead to the 2020 election being postponed.
“That’s too far in the future to tell,” he said in an interview with TIME on Tuesday.
“It’s not my decision to make, so I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other,” he added. “But right now that’s the plan.”
In a statement provided later to NBC News, Kushner said: “I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election.”
President Trump cannot unilaterally postpone the 2020 election, as Business Insider has previously reported.
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The US presidential election is on November 3, but when asked if it would still be held then, Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law and White House senior advisor, was not fully committal.
As Business Insider has noted, it is not possible for the White House to unilaterally postpone an election — although Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has worried it is something that President Donald Trump might well try.
Trump could, however, publicly undermine the legitimacy of the vote, as he has done with baseless claims that casting ballots by mail will enable widespread fraud.
Asked Tuesday if he could see pushing back the vote, Kushner told TIME that November was “too far in the future to tell.”
“It’s not my decision to make, so I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other,” he said. “But right now that’s the plan.”
Kushner had been asked if another surge in coronavirus infections could delay the election.
“Hopefully by the time we get to September, October, November, we’ve done enough work with testing and with all the different things we’re trying to do to prevent a future outbreak of the magnitude that would make us shut down again,” he said. “I really believe that once America opens up, it’ll be very hard for America to lock down again.”
In a statement issued later in the day to NBC News, Kushner said: “I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the presidential election.”
At least 81,600 people have died in the US due to COVID-19, with an additional 1,547 deaths reported on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Reported deaths peaked April 21, when there were 2,845 fatalities — compared to 2,416 deaths on May 5 — but public health experts have warned that the US is not conducting enough tests to safely restart the economy, raising the threat of a fierce resurgence.
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