A former White House employee who was part of the Trump administration as it dealt with the early effects of the coronavirus pandemic has criticized the president for his handling of the crisis, even suggesting he called it ‘a good thing’.
One-time aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye spoke in a video released by the group Republican Voters Against Trump and claimed that Trump and his administration knew the country was facing a pandemic by mid-February.
“But the president didn’t want to hear that because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year and how was this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success,” she said.
“The truth is he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself,” she said.
“If the president had taken this virus seriously… he would have slowed the virus spread, he would have saved lives.”
She also recalled comments Mr Trump allegedly made during a task force meeting suggesting that COVID-19 might be “a good thing” because it would mean he would not have to “shake hands” with “disgusting people”.
“It was awful,” she said. “It was terrifying.”
Troye, a lifelong Republican, served as one of the top organizers in the White House Coronavirus Task Force and said that Trump repeatedly referred to the pandemic as a hoax during the early stages.
Vice President Pence responded to the video by saying that the former aide’s remarks sounded simply like those of a disgruntled employee, while a White House spokesperson said her claims were not true.
“Outside of generally watching the White House Coronavirus Taskforce from the overflow staff room, this disgruntled former detailee was never in private meetings with the president and her assertions have no basis in reality and are flat out inaccurate,” spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.
Trump claimed that he had never met Troye and instead just remembered that she wrote a ‘beautiful letter’ praising the administration when she left.
“To grow up in America is to live in a land where anything is possible, where anyone can rise, and where any dream can come true. All because of the immortal principles our nation’s founders inscribed nearly two and a half centuries ago,” President Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with Pence.
“That’s why we’ve come to the National Archives, the sacred home of our national memory. In this great chamber, we preserve our glorious inheritance, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Bill of Rights.
“On this very day in 1787, our founding fathers signed the Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It was the fulfilment of a thousand years of Western civilization. Our Constitution was the product of centuries of tradition, wisdom, and experience. No political document has done more to advance the human condition or propel the engine of progress. Yet, as we gather this afternoon, a radical movement is attempting to demolish this treasured and precious inheritance. We can’t let that happen,” Trump continued.
“The left-wing mobs have torn down statues of our founders, desecrated our memorials, and carried out a campaign of violence and anarchy. Far left demonstrators have chanted the words, “America was never great.” The Left has launched a vicious and violent assault on law enforcement, the universal symbol of the rule of law in America.
“These radicals have been aided and abetted by liberal politicians, establishment, media, and even large corporations. Whether it is the mob on the street or the cancel culture in the boardroom, the goal is the same: to silence dissent, to scare you out of speaking the truth, and to bully Americans into abandoning their values, their heritage, and their very way of life.
“We are here today to declare that we will never submit to tyranny. We will reclaim our history and our country for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed. The radicals burning American flags want to burn down the principles enshrined in our founding documents, including the bedrock principle of equal justice under law,” Trump added.
“In order to radically transform America, they must first cause Americans to lose confidence in who we are, where we came from, and what we believe.
“As I said at Mount Rushmore, which they would love to rip down and rip it down fast, that’s never going to happen. Two months ago, the left wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American revolution. As many of you testified today, the left wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left wing indoctrination in our schools. It’s gone on far too long.
“Our children are instructed from propaganda tracks like those of Howard Zinn that try to make students ashamed of their own history. The Left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies.”