A scientist working for the Trump administration repeatedly complained in emails that “electoral issues” were taking dangerous precedence over developing an effective response to the deadly COVID-19 crisis, The Washington Post reported.
Donald Trump’s focus on the election persisted according to emails even as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. soared to about 250,000 a day in January, the Post noted.
The emails from Steven Hatfill, a virologist who advised White House Chief Commercial Officer Peter Navarro, were obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the White House response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Now that the elections are so close, COVID is taking a back seat, but the disease is raising it.[s] ugly head again, ”Hatfill wrote to a colleague outside the White House in October 2020 in an email seen by the Post.
After the election, which was contested by Trump, Hatfill revealed in another email that he personally “went on to the election fraud investigation in November.”
Rather than focus on the pandemic, Hatfill traveled to Arizona after the close presidential vote there. He also reportedly e-mailed information to White House officials about a Dominion Voting Systems conspiracy theory, and e-mailed Navarro about a “Plan B for Trump’s legal fight” aimed at ” Rudy, “possibly referring to former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
“The election issue got out of hand. I go where my team goes, ”Hatfill told another colleague in an email, referring to more work challenging the outcome of the Nevada presidential election, the Post reported.
James Clyburn, chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on COVID-19, wrote in a September 23 memorandum that “during the months of November and December 2020, the pandemic continued to worsen in the United States, with more than 11 million new cases and 132,770 deaths in those two months alone. “Nearly 200,000 Americans lost their lives to COVID between Election Day and Inauguration Day, Clyburn added.
Hatfill defended his election work to the Post. In response to questions from the newspaper, he said: “I was, and still am, frustrated that public health is treated like political football. Furthermore, he was disgusted with the destruction of the National Pandemic Plan at the hands of petty bureaucrats in conflict. “
Hatfill accurately predicted in February 2020 that problems with tests provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would seriously cripple initial efforts to control COVID, according to the Post.
The former Army biodefense investigator was named as a person of interest by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in the 2001 anthrax attacks when the poison was mailed. He was acquitted of any wrongdoing and won a $ 5.85 million settlement from the Justice Department in 2008.
“‘Person of interest’ to WH advisor in 20 years,” Hatfill wrote in an email exchange in February 2020, the Post reported, adding that he “helped draft a memo for the big D last night.” “Only in America LOL”.
Read the full Washington Post story here.
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