February 24, 2024

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Trump Dismissed Coronavirus Warnings in January 2020: ‘Yeah, Okay’

  • Trump dismissed warnings about the coronavirus in January 2020, according to a new e book.
  • Then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar attempted to convey to Trump about the threat of COVID-19 in a telephone call.
  • “Yeah, all right,” Trump responded, then hung up. 

Then-President Donald Trump slice the dialogue brief when his overall health secretary, Alex Azar, warned him of the coronavirus in January 2020, according to a new e-book, “Nightmare Situation: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Transformed Background,” by The Washington Post’s Damian Paletta and Yasmeen Abutaleb.

The president was at his Mar-a-Lago vacation resort in Florida at the time, a excursion that took location approximately a thirty day period right after the Residence impeached him in excess of his attempts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election. The Senate was readying his trial. Trump aides believed the president required cheering up and sent him off to West Palm Seaside, the ebook suggests.

In the meantime, wellness staffers in his administration were expanding increasingly involved in excess of COVID-19, in accordance to the reserve.

“Mr. President, I’ve bought to inform you some thing,” Azar explained to Trump through a mid-January 2020 cellphone simply call, ahead of COVID-19 broke out across the place and compelled officials to impose lockdowns. “There is certainly this new virus out of China that could be very risky. It could be the form of issue we have been making ready for and fearful about.”

Azar then relayed to Trump that the Centers for Ailment Management and Prevention experienced begun to monitor vacationers from China to the US but that more basic safety measures likely essential to be taken to mitigate likely distribute of the virus, for every the guide.

“Yeah, okay,” Trump replied, seemingly unconvinced of the danger. Then he hung up the cellphone.

Azar, then the head of the Overall health and Human Companies Division, unsuccessful to get via to the president. He experienced been on shaky floor with Trump, who was continue to upset in excess of a current health coverage that banned most flavored digital cigarettes. The shift had angered Trump’s base, and the president imagined it would charge him his reelection, in accordance to the ebook.

The Post journalists claimed that Azar “could barely get a word in ahead of Trump started shouting” at him over e-cigarettes through that January cellphone call. 

That very same thirty day period, Trump dismissed Azar’s assistance on yet another situation, according to the guide. Trump desired to send out a tweet praising Chinese President Xi Jinping on the pandemic, however Azar begged him not to. 

“For the really like of God, you should not do that,” he advised the president, for every the ebook. But Trump went in advance and tweeted.

In the next months, as COVID-19 infections and deaths surged across the US, Trump continued to dismiss advice from his have administration. Trump and his close allies would also normally downplay the severity of the outbreak and flout suggestions like mask putting on and social distancing. Extra than 400,000 People died of COVID-19 through his administration. 

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