Politico reporter Dan Diamond is out with a bombshell story about how President Donald Trump and his administration not only botched the management of what is now the coronavirus pandemic, but clearly took steps that were not in the best interest of the public in order to help the President’s re-election efforts.
In short, according to Diamond, Trump was warned “the new coronavirus could be a major problem,” but “made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus… the better for his potential reelection.”
In this interview Diamond tells NPR’s Terry Gross that President Trump “did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.”
Just to be clear, let’s look at that again: Trump “did not push to do aggressive additional testing” and “had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.”
NPR took to Twitter to ensure the quote was clear, emphasizing that it was indeed President Trump’s decision to not push for testing – in order to keep the documented cases of coronavirus as low as possible – despite the clear public health risks.
Seeing a lot of attention on this quote and want to be clear about what we’ve previously reported.
1) The president attached to rosy scenarios about coronavirus, fixated on case count and conveyed to staff that low numbers were better politics for 2020. https://t.co/d9hzvQBCig
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 12, 2020
(It does not seem to be a stretch to say that the lack of testing – for whatever reason – will likely lead to coronavirus related deaths.)
Diamond says that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “did go to the president in January. He did push past resistance from the president’s political aides to warn the president the new coronavirus could be a major problem. There were aides around Trump – Kellyanne Conway had some skepticism at times that this was something that needed to be a presidential priority.”
So Conway, who just days ago on national television lied, insisting the Trump administration had “contained” the coronavirus outbreak, reportedly didn’t think a global pandemic – it has been clear that’s where this was headed – was important enough to involve the President.
Diamond tells Gross that “some of the decisions behind the scenes haven’t always reflected the best judgment of career professionals.”
Clearly that’s correct.
There’s a great deal more of how the Trump administration has not just mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, but horrifically mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, and in some cases to benefit Trump’s re-election efforts. The NPR interview is 44 minutes long. You can read it or listen to it at NPR, or listen to it below.
Image by The White House via Flickr
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