Wuhan Exile: Trump Angry at Kurshner for Bad Virus Advice — No, it’s Not a PR Problem
It reflected Trump’s magical thinking that he could manage the coronavirus pandemic by convincing people life would remain normal and sports would be played. (Last week, Trump also spoke with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White and advised him not to cancel UFC events.) “Trump thinks this is a media problem,” a Republican close to the White House told me. Treating COVID-19 as a public-relations crisis put Trump at odds with the medical community, including the White House’s chief coronavirus adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci. During an interview on Meet the Press this weekend, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases urged the United States to move toward a national lockdown similar to the actions taken by Italy and Spain. “I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting,” Fauci said.
With the markets in free fall despite emergency action by the Fed over the weekend, Trump is waking up to the reality that’s been clear to everyone: Coronavirus poses a once-in-a-hundred-years threat to the country. “In the last 48 hours he has understood the magnitude of what’s going on,” a former West Wing official told me. As Trump processes the stakes facing the country—and his presidency—he’s also lashing out at advisers, whom he blames for the White House’s inept and flat-footed response. Sources say a principal target of his anger is Jared Kushner. “I have never heard so many people inside the White House openly discuss how pissed Trump is at Jared,” the former West Wing official said.
….Trump was also said to be angry that Kushner oversold Google’s coronavirus testing website when in fact the tech giant had a fledgling effort. Trump got slammed in the press for promoting the phantom Google product. “Jared told Trump that Google was doing an entire website that would be up in 72 hours and had 1,100 people working on it 24/7. That’s just a lie,” the source briefed on the internal conversations told me.