President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton says he turned “a blind eye” to the coronavirus pandemic, which is currently intensifying in certain areas across the United States.
“I think there is an empty chair in the Oval Office, because the President did not want to hear bad news about Xi Jinping, his friend,” Bolton said during an interview on CNN. “He did not want to hear bad news about the cover-up of the virus in China, or its potential effect on the China trade deal that he wants so much. And he didn’t want to hear about the potential impact of a pandemic on the American economy and its effect on his reelection. Turning a blind eye to all these early signs I think hampered the country’s ability to deal with this, and continues to do so.”
Bolton says he does not have confidence in the president’s coronavirus response.
“I am afraid that the erratic nature of the policies as they’ve evolved since January when the experts really began to sense that this problem might be out there has characterized our response throughout. And I’m worried that it continues to be the pattern that the President follows. It’s not part of a comprehensive strategy. I think in a country the size of the United States, state and local authorities should have a big role, but at the federal level, the response has not been consistent,” he said.
Bolton’s comments come amid a scandal surrounding the release of his book, The Room Where It Happened, which outlines his bumpy tenure in the White House and details a significant amount of the president’s often incendiary behavior.