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Mark Meadows response to Trump calling his news of the positive Covid test “fake news” is bizarre

Mark Meadows response to Trump calling his news of the positive Covid test “fake news” is bizarre

Less than 24 hours after former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared to agree to cooperate with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, news broke that The Guardian had obtained a copy of his new book, and from it the revelation that the then-president, Donald Trump, had tested positive for coronavirus three days before appearing on stage with Joe Biden at the Sept. 26 presidential debate.

Never mind that a second test came back negative – according to one Harvard epidemiologist, this just indicated Trump was not yet contagious, but he was “blazing positive” by the discussion and chose to carry on and possibly infect countless more. That behavior, according to the renowned disease expert and professor, “was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision.”

Donald Trump via The Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff and Covid 19 via EpicTop10.com is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Trump, in his usual reckless response, released a rapid comment via his spokeswoman, this time rejecting the allegation in Meadows’ book, which was validated by two other former Trump advisers.

What’s more, Meadows himself retweeted Trump’s denial.

It was widely reported that at least six individuals close to Trump, including Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, and Kayleigh McEnany, tested positive for coronavirus immediately after the debate.

“Trump on Wednesday was furious that Meadows revealed the anecdote in his forthcoming book and that it was published via the liberal-leaning Guardian website, according to a person familiar with the former president’s reaction, who requested anonymity to reveal a private conversation,” the Washington Post adds. “Meadows through an emissary has offered to put out a statement ‘clarifying things,’ but that offer was rejected, the person said.”

Writer and political activist Don Winslow has another take on the day’s events:

The shocking discovery of an unreported positive test comes after a year of conjecture over whether Trump, then 74, had the potentially lethal virus when he confronted Biden, 77, in Cleveland on September 29 — and what threat it could have posed.

According to Meadow’s book, Trump underwent another COVID-19 test shortly after the first result, which came back negative. Meadows claims the positive test resulted from an earlier, less reliable testing kit.

CNN anchor and senior political commentator John Avlon raised concerns about the article.

“And it also raises a question regarding the debate against Joe Biden. Was the president’s potential positive status a feature, not a bug, so to speak? Nothing is beyond these people,” he noted.

CNN contributor John Harwood posed a more direct question on Twitter, “Does anyone [think] that Trump, suspecting he had covid, would have WANTED to infect Biden?”

Trump has certainly been accused of similar feats before.

One of the more heartbreaking stories in Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker’s new book, I, Alone Can Fix It, is the Trump administration’s dismissive attitude toward the dangers of COVID-19.

According to one report, Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director Katie Miller is the wife of Trump official Stephen Miller, who is infamous for his immigrant bashing.

She was a regular at COVID-19 task force meetings, where she collaborated closely with doctors and disease experts.

Because her office was across the street from the White House, she would sit outside Marc Short’s small West Wing office, mostly on the floor with other VP aides.

At one point, she was in charge of all coronavirus communications until it became clear that she was in over her head and Trump’s communications team took over.

“The two were overheard gossiping about and making fun of task-force doctors,” the book recalled.

“On May 7, Pence delivered boxes of personal protective equipment from FEMA to a nursing home in Alexandria, Virginia. Miller staffed him for the photo op,” the book continued. “As she talked near a gaggle of reporters without wearing a mask, Miller coughed. She had tested negative earlier that day, but when she got tested again on May 8, her results came back positive. She had COVID.”

The virus quickly spread through Pence’s office, with at least five people infected.

Olivia Troye was one of Vice President Mike Pence’s top aides on the task force.

He had faith in her and thought she was intelligent and capable.

Her husband was immunocompromised, and she was terrified that he was in danger as a result of Miller’s carelessness.

“In the privacy of her office, Troye broke down in tears,” said the book.

She wasn’t the only one, as others in Pence’s office were worried.

“When you’re in these mass gatherings, never take off your mask,” Troye told them, according to the book. “Don’t listen to Marc. Wash your hands all the time. Don’t shake any hands. Carry sanitizer with you. When you’re at rallies, stay behind the stage and in your own pod, where you know the people you’re traveling with have been tested. Don’t go to the front and take photos or interact with strangers. Protect yourself.”

Troye expressed her views about the President’s handling of Covid in an interview with The New Yorker in September of 2020 with Susan B. Glasser.

She [Troye] had seen Trump rant in private about Fox News coverage as his public-health advisers desperately tried to get him to focus on a disease that has now killed some two hundred thousand Americans. She had decided that Trump was lying to the American public about the disease, and that “words matter, especially when you’re the President of the United States,” and that it was time to speak out. She was nervous and scared and worried for her family and her career. But she plunged ahead anyway.

…She said that Trump was “disruptive.” That he could not “focus.” That he was consumed by himself and his prospects in November. “For him, it was all about the election,” Troye told me. “He just can’t seem to care about anyone else besides himself.”

…Trump’s handling of the situation—the conscious spreading of disinformation, the disregard for the task force’s work—had made the crisis far worse for Americans. She warned about the President’s push for a vaccine before the November election and said that she did not trust him to do the right thing for the country’s health and safety. “What I’m really concerned about is if they rush this vaccine and pressure people and get something out because they want to save the election,” she said.

…the President and the Administration she described were drearily consistent with portraits that have emerged in countless other tell-all interviews and books: a White House riven by backstabbing and suspicion, where trouble flowed from the top and good governance was subordinate to Presidential whim and partisan calculation. She told me she believed that most other staffers on the coronavirus task force were genuinely motivated to help Americans weather the pandemic but that Trump blocked them from implementing the right policies. “Everything that you’re putting in place is derailed not just by a random person—it’s derailed by a No. 1. It’s derailed by the person at the very top,” she said.

…Civil servants like her were reviled as “deep staters” by Trump’s political appointees, she said. They were viewed with even more suspicion after Trump’s impeachment in the House, in December, was aided by testimony from mid-level White House staffers, including Jennifer Williams, Pence’s national-security aide, who worked in the office next to Troye’s. “I actually find that term very offensive,” she told me, “because not once while I was there did I do anything that I believe would lead anyone to think that I was a ‘deep stater,’ constantly undermining his agenda. . . . At the end of the day, I’m a career officer and my job was to serve, no matter who was in office.”

…As pictures of her sitting alongside Vice-President Pence flash onscreen, she says that, by mid-February, the task force knew that the coronavirus was a lethal threat to the U.S. “But the President didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year.” Troye adds, “It was shocking to see the President saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything was O.K. when it was not,” despite what he had been very clearly told in private. Troye ends the video by calling herself a “John McCain Republican” and endorsing Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden.

Troye decided to bravely put her thoughts and feelings into a video, warning other’s of the callous attitude from the administration. See below.

In the video, Troye recounts when Trump, a noted germaphobe, met with the coronavirus task force, early on in the crisis, and told its members that perhaps the pandemic was a good thing because he would no longer have to shake hands with all the “disgusting people” at his rallies and other public events. During our interview, I asked Troye if she could remember other particularly memorable times when Trump spoke privately to the group. She recalled how Trump refused several times to consider urgent business that the task force presented to him, deciding “to talk about himself and a preferred news network and how upset he was with them, instead of focussing on the agenda at hand.” Fox News coverage, in other words, preoccupied the President more than saving American lives. 

The response from the White House when Troye came out with her video was to dismiss her as a disgruntled former low level employee. 

The White House denied her claims, and in doing so, downplayed her role. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Troye was “never in private meetings with the President,” while White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted Troye “typically sat in the overflow room of task force.”

She claims to have met the President, and that during one of the first task force meetings, he asked her who she was. Troye claims she was present at every meeting when Trump joined calls with governors about Covid-19, and that she was in the Oval Office with task force members a few times, including when Trump asked her boss at the time, the vice president, to lead the task force.

“What I’ve said about him and his behavior was also witnessed by all of these other people because yes, they were in the meetings with me,” Troye told CNN in an interview. “I’m not claiming to be in small meetings with him. And it didn’t take a small meeting to make the President speak freely because he is who he is.”

 




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