According to Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, who authored the new book, Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History, former President Donald Trump reportedly suggested sending Americans infected with Covid-19 to Guantanamo Bay in a bid to cut down on the number of cases on United States soil.
The authors interviewed more than 180 people, including former White House staffers and government officials, to verify this information.
Trump reportedly made the remarks during a February 2020 meeting in the Situation Room about whether infected Americans should be brought home for care in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Don’t we have an island that we own?” and “What about Guantánamo?” Trump asked the meeting’s attendees.
“We import goods,” he said. “We are not going to import a virus.”
Trump also reportedly shocked aides with his reaction to the country’s initial lack of Covid-19 tests.
“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?” he added, rebuffing Azar’s remark that it had been Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who had handled those details.
The book will be out on June 29.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.