Newly obtained emails show Trump administration ignored pandemic in favor of the Big Lie

Newly obtained emails show Trump administration ignored pandemic in favor of the Big Lie

If you already thought the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response resembled two drunk howler monkeys punching each other in the groin on a Tilt-A-Whirl, you’ll be horrified—though certainly not surprised—to discover it was actually worse than previously thought.

It’s certainly an open question whether Donald Trump’s flailing monkeys focusing on an urgent crisis is a good or bad thing; in retrospect, giving Trump a binky, a blanky, and a four-year supply of Hibernol on Jan. 21, 2017 might have been the way to go. But handling deadly crises is part of the job description for heads of state. Sadly, Trump never saw it that way. And after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Trump doubled down on preventing a competent COVID-19 response by both trying to keep Biden out of the White House and completely ignoring his sworn duty to save Americans’ lives.

Now, thanks to a passel of emails obtained by the House select subcommittee investigating the federal government’s COVID-19 response, we’re seeing just how uninterested the Trump administration was in fighting the deadly virus once its cosmic loser leader biffed his reelection.

According to new reporting from The Washington Post, White House officials—including Steven Hatfill, a virologist serving as an adviser to White House trade director Peter Navarro—knew the Eye of Sour-Don was focused solely on the election. Sadly, they abandoned their duty and followed the big ocher dope’s lead.

“Now with the elections so close, COVID is taking a back-seat, yet the disease is rearing it[s] ugly head again,” Hatfill wrote to an outside colleague in October 2020. Following the election, which was disputed by Trump, Hatfill wrote in another email that he personally “shifted over to the election fraud investigation in November.”

In other emails obtained by the subcommittee, Hatfill further detailed his role in the White House’s election challenges, including traveling to Arizona in the wake of that state’s close election, passing along a “Plan B for Trump Legal Fight” and sharing debunked rumors of Joe Biden’s supposed family ties with a voting machine company.

Asked in a Jan. 5, 2021, email by a George Washington University colleague why he was not “fixing the virus,” Hatfill blamed the election dispute, writing, “Because the election thing got out of control. I go where my team goes,” citing his own efforts to help challenge the outcome of the election in Nevada.

As we all know, Trump is still obsessed with the election he lost nearly 11 months ago, and he likely will be until his family scatters his ashes in his fave Arby’s parking lot, props his stuffed cadaver up in the Mar-a-Lago lobby, or whatever the fuck they’ll do with his egregious purpling corpse when he finally settles in for his dirt nap. But with the long-awaited Arizona fraudit now showing what we already knew—that Biden won the state—it’s likely Trump’s Adderall-soaked entreaties will increasingly fall on deaf ears. 

Of course, Hatfill’s participation in Trump’s post-election fuckery likely didn’t cost us much. Like Trump, he advocated using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, and according to the emails the Post obtained, he considered himself a mortal enemy of NIH director Dr. Anthony Fauci. In one email, Hatfill wrote, “I actually lost it and told Fauci he was full of crap a couple weeks ago.” In another, he lobbied for removing Fauci from the COVID-19 task force.

And while Hatfill working on the election vs. the pandemic may not matter all that much in the grand scheme of things (would you rather Trump try to kill our democracy or everyone who lives under it?), his emails reveal just how unserious Trump was about anything related to his supposed job—especially, and ironically, after he’d lost that job.

Gee, maybe Trump never really cared about public service after all.

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