Trump is reportedly fixated on the number of US coronavirus cases and expressed that he wants them kept as low as possible
President Donald Trump has expressed that he wants the number of coronavirus cases in the United States kept as low as possible, Politico reported Saturday evening. He has also been monitoring the daily counts of US cases and how they compare to other countries. On Friday, Trump even publicly discussed keeping a cruise ship with potentially infected passengers offshore to keep the number of US coronavirus cases low. As of March 7, 19 people in the US had died after contracting the virus and more than 400 people had tested positive. But due to a nationwide testing shortage, the actual number of coronavirus cases is likely far higher. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump has grown fixated on the number of coronavirus cases in the United States and expressed that he wants them kept as low as possible, Politico reported Saturday evening. Trump has been monitoring the daily counts of US cases and how they compare to other countries, according to Politico. As of March 7, 19 people in the US had died after contracting the virus and more than 400 people had tested positive. But due to a nationwide testing shortage, the actual number of coronavirus cases is likely far higher. Trump even publicly discussed keeping a cruise ship with potentially infected passengers offshore to keep the number of US coronavirus cases low. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault." Politico, citing 13 current and former White House officials and people close to the Trump administration, reported Saturday that Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak by rewarding those who bear good news and spurning those with bad news.
For instance, health officials have sought to appease Trump by emphasizing any positive news in briefings, according to Politico. Other officials have also sought to keep a lid on other, negative information. For instance, the CDC hasn't confirmed how many people in the US have been tested, Politico noted. Trump has also grown apoplectic when government officials have warned the public about the threat posed by the coronavirus. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned on February 25 that "the disruption to everyday life might be sever," including school closures and mass efforts to have employees work from home. After her warning ignited a media frenzy and sent the stock market reeling, Trump shouted at his secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, about how Messonnier had frightened people, according to The New York Times.
Read more: US health officials wanted to recommend that elderly Americans avoid flying amid the coronavirus crisis. The White House overruled them. A person has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a conservative conference where White House officials were present The US government has completed fewer than 6,000 coronavirus tests as more states report new cases and deaths The US has reported 19 coronavirus deaths among more than 401 cases. Here's what we know about the US patients. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
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CDC Director Robert Redfield is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone at the White House who tested positive for COVID-19
CDC Director Robert Redfield is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone at the White House...CDC Director Robert Redfield is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone at the White House who tested positive for COVID-19, The Washington Post reported. Redfield had a "low-risk exposure" on Wednesday but is "feeling fine, and has no symptoms," a CDC spokesperson said. "He will be teleworking for the next two weeks." Officials did not identify the person Redfield came into contact with. Earlier this week, it surfaced that three people in the White House or close to President Trump's family tested positive for the virus: Trump's valet, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, and Ivanka Trump's personal assistant. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone at the White House who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Redfield "had a low-risk exposure" on Wednesday to "a person at the White House who has COVID-19," a CDC spokesperson told The Post. "He is feeling fine, and has no symptoms. He will be teleworking for the next two weeks." The spokesperson told CNN that if Redfield has to go to the White House as part of his responsibilities as a member of the coronavirus task force, "he will follow the safety practices set out by the CDC for those who may have been exposed." "Those guidelines call for Dr. Redfield and anyone working on the Task Force at the White House to have their temperature taken and screened for symptoms each day, wear a face covering, and distance themselves from others," the spokesperson said. Officials did not identify the person at the White House Redfield came into contact with. Earlier this week, one of President Donald Trump's Oval Office valets tested positive for the virus. On Friday, news surfaced that Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary and the wife of White House adviser Stephen Miller, tested positive. And on Friday evening, CNN reported that Ivanka Trump's personal assistant had also tested positive. The White House told CNN that Trump and Pence were tested again as a precaution, and that both tested negative. They are tested weekly with Abbott rapid result test devices. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also tested negative as of Friday. Trump and Pence have both drawn sharp backlash for not following the White House's own directive to wear masks when going out in public. Pence made headlines last week when he violated the Mayo Clinic's policy by not wearing a mask while visiting patients at the hospital. The Mayo Clinic tweeted but later deleted a message saying it "informed" Pence about its face-mask policy before his visit. Politico also reported that a Mayo Clinic representative said it had communicated the policy to Pence and his staff. Trump, meanwhile, has never worn a mask in public and has been quoted as saying that wearing one would "send the wrong message." He was criticized earlier this week for failing to wear one while visiting a Honeywell plant in Arizona, and the Associated Press reported that the president doesn't want to wear a mask because he's afraid he'll look ridiculous and that it will harm his reelection chances. The US is currently the global epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March. To date, 4,018,342 people around the world have been infected and 278,756 have died. The US accounts for more than 25% of total cases, with 1,307,676 confirmed cases and 78,693 deaths.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
Trump reportedly squandered 3 crucial weeks to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak after a CDC official's blunt warnings spooked the stock market
President Donald Trump's administration wasted three key weeks between February and March that could have been...President Donald Trump's administration wasted three key weeks between February and March that could have been spent enacting mitigatory measures against COVID-19, The New York Times reported on Saturday. By the end of February, top officials knew that time was running out to stem the virus spread, and wanted to present Trump with a plan to enact aggressive social distancing and stay-at-home measures. But on February 26, a top CDC official issued stark warnings about the virus' spread right before the stock market plummeted, which angered Trump for being, in his view, too alarmist. The Times reported that the entire episode killed off the efforts to persuade Trump to take aggressive, action to mitigate the virus' spread. In the end, Trump didn't issue stay-at-home guidance until March 16. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President Donald Trump's administration stalled three key weeks in February that could have been spent enacting mitigatory measures against COVID-19 after Trump was angered by a public health official issuing a dire warning about the virus, The New York Times reported on Saturday. On Saturday,The Times published a lengthy investigation of all the instances Trump brushed aside warnings of the severity of the coronavirus crisis, failed to act, and was delayed by significant infighting and mixed messages from the White House over what action to take and when. The Times wrote: "These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated Mr. Trump's inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him." The Times conducted dozens of interviews with current and former officials and obtained 80 pages of emails from a number of public health experts both within and outside of the federal government who sounded the alarm about the severity of the crisis on an email chain they called "Red Dawn." One of the members of the email group, Health & Human Service disaster preparedness official Dr. Robert Kadlec, became particularly concerned about how rapidly the virus could spread when Dr. Eva Lee, a Georgia Tech researcher, shared a study with the group about a 20-year-old woman in China who spread the virus to five of her family members despite showing no symptoms. "Eva is this true?! If so we have a huge [hole] on our screening and quarantine effort," he replied on February 23. At that point, researchers and top officials in the federal government determined that since it was way too late to try to keep the virus out of the United States, the best course of action was to introduce mitigatory, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like social distancing and prohibiting large gatherings. As officials sounded the alarm that they didn't have any time to waste before enacting aggressive measures to contain the virus, top public health officials including Dr. Robert Kadlec concluded that it was time to present Trump with a plan to curb the virus called "Four Steps to Mitigation." The plan, according to The Times, included canceling large gatherings, concerts, and sporting events, closing down schools, and both governments and private businesses alike ordering employees to work from home and stay at home as much as possible, in addition to quarantine and isolating the sick. But their entire plan was derailed by a series of events that ended up delaying the White House's response by several weeks, wasting precious time in the process. Trump was on a state visit to India when Dr. Kadlec and other experts wanted to present him with the plan, so they decided to wait until he came back. But less than a day later, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, publicly sounded the alarm about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in a February 26 press conference, warning that the outbreak would soon become a pandemic. "It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," Messonnier said, bluntly warning that community transmission of the virus would be inevitable. The Times reported that Trump spent the plane ride stewing in anger both over Messonnier's comments and the resulting plummet of the stock market they caused, calling Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar "raging that Dr. Messonnier had scared people unnecessarily," The Times said. The Times reported that the entire episode effectively killed off any efforts to persuade Trump to take aggressive, decisive action to mitigate the virus' spread and led to Azar being sidelined, writing, " With Mr. Pence and his staff in charge, the focus was clear: no more alarmist messages." In the end, Dr. Kadlec's team never made their presentation. Trump did not issue nationwide social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines until March 16, three weeks after Messonnier warned that the US had limited time to mitigate community transmission of the virus, and several weeks after top experts started calling for US officials to implement such measures. In those nearly three weeks between February 26 and March 16, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose from just 15 to 4,226, The Times said. As of April 12, there are over half a million confirmed cases in the United States with over 21,000 deaths. Read the full New York Times story here>>SEE ALSO: 'We have thrown 15 years of institutional learning out the window': Leaked emails show top public health experts raised alarm about the Trump administration's botched coronavirus response Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
New York State has 15,000 cases, roughly 5 percent of the pandemic’s growing global total. Senator...New York State has 15,000 cases, roughly 5 percent of the pandemic’s growing global total. Senator Rand Paul tested positive for the coronavirus.