Amid a lengthy portrait of Donald Trump’s dismal failure to respond adequately to the coronavirus pandemic are several paragraphs about how White House advisers worked to keep secret COVID infections among staff in the Trump administration.
Officials described Chief of Staff Mark Meadows “as outright hostile in his denial of the virus and punitive toward colleagues who sought to follow public health guidelines or be transparent.”
The Washington Post reports: “As the virus spread wildly among White House staff this fall, Meadows sought to conceal some cases from becoming public — including, at first, his own — and instructed at least one fellow adviser who sought to disclose an infection not to. In addition, Meadows threatened to fire White House Medical Unit doctors, who fall below the chief of staff in the chain of command, if they helped release information about new infections, according to one official. Ben Williamson, an aide to Meadows, said it was ‘false’ that the chief of staff ever threatened to terminate doctors. Meadows argued internally, according to this official, that the White House was ‘under no obligation to tell the press or the public that Joe Schmo who works in the White House has tested positive.'”