MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked President Donald Trump for apparently ignoring startlingly accurate warnings from trade adviser Peter Navarro about the coronavirus pandemic.
Navarro’s memos were circulated at the highest levels of government in January and February, but the president downplayed the virus until early March, when statewide lockdowns started wrecking the U.S. economy.
“In one worst-case scenario cited in the memo, Navarro warned that more than half a million Americans could die, and, yet, weeks after that, you had Donald Trump at rallies saying that in April when it warms up, this will miraculously go away,” Scarborough said. “Put this in context with, I suppose you could say with 9/11, the memos warning of al-Qaeda attacks using airplanes, maybe missed signals FDR didn’t pick up on before Pearl Harbor. I really don’t know, though, what parallel there can be, because so many more people are going to die because of these missed signals.”
As Navarro’s dire warnings circulated inside the administration and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also warned a pandemic was coming, the president continued to insist the virus was under control in the U.S. but took no steps to ramp up production of tests or medical equipment.
“Here’s the problem,” Brzezinski said. “I say this with all seriousness, Joe. You know, because we knew him long before the campaign, and we talked to him about this during the campaign, and we shared it with our viewers: He doesn’t read. He doesn’t read. So if Peter Navarro wrote something, or Biden wrote something, he does not read. Everything comes at him, he hears it on TV. This is how he gets his info.”
“That’s been a concern of people that have been trying to brief him since he first got into the White House,” Scarborough agreed. “It is something we asked him early in the campaign, do you read? I asked, can you read? Are you capable of reading?”