Donald Trump and Mike Pence Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump’s preliminary response to the nascent COVID-19 pandemic was to masks the variety of circumstances and, relatedly, hold contaminated individuals off U.S. soil, in accordance to a new book, Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History, by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta.

Trump berated public well being officers — and, unintentionally, his son-in-law and shadow coronavirus process power head, Jared Kushner — for making an attempt to roll out a nationwide testing technique, the Post reports, citing an advance copy of the book, and he had some fairly radical concepts for the way to deal with Americans contaminated with the virus abroad. “Don’t we have an island that we own?” Trump requested advisers within the Situation Room in February 2020, Abutaleb and Paletta report. “What about Guantanamo?” He reportedly added, “We are not going to import a virus.”

After Trump proposed using Guantanamo a second time, surprised aides shortly shot down the concept, apprehensive the American public would react poorly to quarantining U.S. vacationers on the identical navy jail camp that holds terrorism suspects, the Post reports. Abutaleb and Paletta base their book on interviews with greater than 180 individuals, together with White House senior workers and authorities well being leaders. But Trump stated publicly in March 2020 he needed to hold U.S. residents on the contaminated cruise ship Grand Princess, not carry them to shore, so his COVID-19 numbers would not go up.

Trump advised his aides to fireplace the senior State Department official who allowed 14 coronavirus-infected Americans to return dwelling from the Grand Princess’ sister ship, the Diamond Princess, docked in Japan, Abutaleb and Paletta report. Letting them fly again to the U.S. — and doubtless saving their lives, the Post reports — “doubles my numbers overnight,” Trump reportedly complained to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Trump additionally known as for firing HHS emergency preparedness chief Robert Kadlec, who signed off on the Diamond Princess evacuation, the book reports, including that senior officers resisted Trump’s calls for and he ultimately “gave up.”

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“One of the biggest flaws in the Trump administration’s response is that no one was in charge of the response,” Abutaleb and Paletta write in Nightmare Scenario, which signifies that “ultimately, there was no accountability, and the response was rudderless.” Read extra at The Washington Post.

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