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Trump Called White House Covid Task Force “That Fucking Advice,” Book Says | Donald trump

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Amid the chaos at the White House as the coronavirus pandemic worsened, Donald Trump began derisively referring to the Covid task force chaired by his vice president as “that fucking advice Mike has.”

The revelation about the president’s disregard for his key advisory body is one among many in a new book, Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History, which is published in the United States on Tuesday. The Guardian obtained a copy.

Previous revelations in the book have included that Trump wanted to send infected Americans to Guantanamo Bay and that he reflected on John Bolton, his national security adviser, that Covid “pulled out.”

Authors Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, both Washington Post reporters, also report in depth on how the extraordinary influence of “outside consultants” on Trump, including the controversial Stephen Moore, relentlessly undermined the work of the president’s scientific advisers.

The book is a deeply informed account of the beginning of a pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 in the United States and a federal response crippled by incompetence and infighting.

Trump’s mocking term for his task force, the authors write, is “a sign that he wanted it to go away” and “did not want anyone to exercise leadership.”

“Many in the task force also did not want the responsibility, fearful of the consequences.”

Under the chairmanship of Vice President Mike Pence, who is shown resisting his own appointment to replace the surpassed health secretary Alex Azar, the task force was led by Dr. Deborah Birx, a US Army physician. praised for its role in the fight against AIDS, but whose star waned under Trump.

Abutaleb and Paletta portray Birx as a confident leader who is not afraid to challenge powerful men, but also as someone who “played too much” when he decided to praise and flatter Trump as a way to handle him.

From an interview that Birx gave to the right-wing Christian Broadcasting Network, in which praised “Trump’s ability to analyze and integrate data,” write the authors: “It was the kind of adulation expected of Pence or [treasury secretary] Steve Mnuchin, not a government scientist. “

The authors also say Birx worked well with Pence and was admired by his co-workers, although in April 2020, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows derided the task force as “useless and broken.”

Birx served until the end of the Trump administration in January of this year. Unlike her partner Anthony Fauci, now Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, she did not remain in public service.

Abutaleb and Paletta also report that in March, when cases skyrocketed and the death toll in the United States surpassed 1,000, unofficial advisor Stephen Moore, the “Trump emissary [from] the conservative establishment … entered the oval office to convince the president “to end the closures and get the economy moving.”

Moore is an economist who was nominated by Trump to the Federal Reserve board in 2019, only to retire after the Guardian-led media reported controversies in his past.

He told Abutaleb and Paletta that the controversial and soon abandoned Trump promise to reopen the US economy at Easter was “the smart thing to do,” because “the economic costs of this are increasing and there is not much evidence that the closures are working. to stop the crisis. ” spread “.

Locks to stop the spread of Covid-19 continue to be used around the world.

Moore is also cited attacking Fauci, a common target of conservative ire on issues including the wearing of masks and the origins of Covid in China.

“Fauci is the villain here,” says Moore. “He has the Napoleon complex and believes that he is the dictator who could decide how to rule the country.”

Moore also says that the conservative activists whom he counseled while organizing protests against the lockdowns and masks, and whom he met reclaimed They were the successors to the great civil rights protester Rosa Parks – they asked, “What’s wrong with this fucking Fauci? Sometimes they called him Fucky, not Fauci. “

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