Former Trump advisers warned of government’s ‘critical mistakes’ in early pandemic response
According to recently released correspondence, former President Donald Trump’s top advisers used encrypted emails to warn of the government’s “critical mistakes” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virologist Steven Hatfill, a consultant for the Trump administration, warned White House trade director Peter Navarro in February 2020 that the nation didn’t have an appropriate sense of how many covid-positive cases were in the US.
“In truth we do not have a clue how many are infected in the USA. We are expecting the first wave to spread in the US within the next 7 days,” Hatfill wrote to Navarro on Feb. 29.
“This will be accompanied by a massive loss of credibility, and the Democratic accusations are just now beginning. This must be countered with frank honesty about the situation and decisive direct actions that are being taken and can be seen in the broadcast news.”
Hatfill blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ineffective testing kits. Both advisers expressed frustration with Dr. Anthony Fauci for rebuffing their efforts to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine.
The House select committee on COVID-19 obtained the correspondence as part of an ongoing investigation.
“These exchanges add to the growing body of evidence that the Trump Administration knew the significant risk posed by the coronavirus but failed to execute an effective strategy to reduce the loss of American lives,” committee chairman James Clyburn (D-SC) wrote in a letter to Navarro. “The Select Subcommittee seeks to understand what the leaders in the Trump Administration knew, when they knew it, and how their decisions may have contributed to the catastrophic loss of life.”