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Trump claimed, ‘yeah, okay’ and hung up the cellphone when his overall health secretary warned him about the coronavirus in January 2020, a new guide suggests

Then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Place of work in 2017. Drew Angerer/Getty Pictures

  • Trump dismissed warnings about the coronavirus in January 2020, according to a new reserve.

  • Then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar experimented with to explain to Trump about the threat of COVID-19 in a mobile phone phone.

  • “Yeah, all right,” Trump responded, then hung up.

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Then-President Donald Trump minimize the conversation quick when his health secretary, Alex Azar, warned him of the coronavirus in January 2020, in accordance to a new reserve, “Nightmare State of affairs: Inside of the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Modified Record,” by The Washington Post’s Damian Paletta and Yasmeen Abutaleb.

The president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at the time, a journey that took place approximately a month right after the Home impeached him in excess of his attempts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election. The Senate was readying his trial. Trump aides considered the president necessary cheering up and sent him off to West Palm Beach front, the guide claims.

In the meantime, health staffers in his administration had been increasing significantly concerned around COVID-19, in accordance to the reserve.

“Mr. President, I have received to explain to you some thing,” Azar explained to Trump for the duration of a mid-January 2020 cellphone connect with, ahead of COVID-19 broke out throughout the region and compelled officers to impose lockdowns. “There is certainly this new virus out of China that could be really hazardous. It could be the variety of matter we have been planning for and nervous about.”

Azar then relayed to Trump that the Centers for Condition Handle and Avoidance experienced started out to monitor travelers from China to the US but that extra safety actions most likely essential to be taken to mitigate prospective distribute of the virus, per the guide.

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

Azar, then the head of the Health and fitness and Human Companies Division, failed to get through to the president. He had been on shaky ground with Trump, who was still upset about a new health and fitness coverage that banned most flavored digital cigarettes. The move experienced angered Trump’s base, and the president assumed it would price tag him his reelection, in accordance to the reserve.

The Put up journalists reported that Azar “could barely get a phrase in prior to Trump started shouting” at him in excess of e-cigarettes all through that January telephone contact.

That identical thirty day period, Trump dismissed Azar’s suggestions on a different occasion, in accordance to the e-book. Trump wished to deliver a tweet praising Chinese President Xi Jinping on the pandemic, nevertheless Azar begged him not to.

“For the adore of God, will not do that,” he informed the president, for each the guide. But Trump went in advance and tweeted.

In the following months, as COVID-19 bacterial infections and deaths surged throughout the US, Trump continued to dismiss guidance from his very own administration. Trump and his shut allies would also frequently downplay the severity of the outbreak and flout guidelines like mask carrying and social distancing. Much more than 400,000 Us citizens died of COVID-19 for the duration of his administration.

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