On CNN Saturday, former national security official Samantha Vinograd tore into the Trump administration for their disorganized response to the president's COVID infection.
"This is the angriest I've ever been on television," said Vinograd. "The idea that White House personnel knew that the president could endanger the health and security of Americans, and sent him out there as a contagion risk, is really unacceptable."
"Sam, what message does it send to America's adversaries if the U.S. is unable to protect the president of the United States from a known global health threat?" asked host Ana Cabrera.
"Well, this gets at the strategic risks that the president's avoidable diagnosis with COVID-19 sends around the world," said Vinograd. "Remember, Russia and China have been long working to discredit the image of the United States as a competent global leader that can address threats, transnational threats like a pandemic. The fact that the U.S. president was unwilling to take necessary steps to protect himself, to protect his staff, to protect their families, really doesn't make it a hard sell anymore when Russia and China are trying to degrade the image of the United States."
"And finally, this notion that the president prioritized politics over the actual physical well-being of his staff and the Americans he was coming into contact with sends a separate message that, for Trump, national security plays second fiddle to his personal needs," added Vinograd. "So overall, even if the president's physical recovery is expedited, the strategic geopolitical impacts will take a long time to mitigate."