According to a new book, former President Donald Trump reportedly suggested sending Americans infected with COVID-19 to Guantanamo Bay.
Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta’s new book “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History” share details about former President Donald Trump’s administration’s response to the pandemic.
According to The Washington Post, the authors describe how the COVID-19 response turned the White House into a “toxic environment in which no matter where you turned, someone was ready to rip your head off or threatening to fire you.”
During a meeting in the situation room in February 2020, President Trump suggested sending COVID-19 infected Americans to Guantanamo Bay.“Don’t we have an island that we own?” and “What about Guantánamo?”
“We import goods,” the President said to staff during the meeting. “We are not going to import a virus.”
The United States operates the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the infamous Guantanamo detention camp, where terrorist suspects are held in the Caribbean nation of Cuba.
The book also recounts the former president’s issues with COVID-19 testing.
“Testing is killing me!” Trump reportedly told then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a phone call on March 18. “I’m going to lose the election because of testing! What idiot had the federal government do testing?” Trump exclaimed.
“Uh, do you mean Jared?” Azar allegedly replied. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, had just taken over the national testing strategy.
Some officials in the Trump administration were also reportedly seriously pushing “herd immunity” as a response to the pandemic.
“One of the biggest flaws in the Trump administration’s response is that no one was in charge of the response,” Abutaleb and Paletta write in Nightmare Scenario, which means that “ultimately, there was no accountability, and the response was rudderless.”
The book is set to be published on June 29.