Breaking news: Donald Trump lied to make himself look better. We’ll give you a moment to process.
OK, moment’s over.
After Beth Cameron, the former senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council, wrote in The Washington Post that the Trump administration had disbanded her office in 2018, “leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like COVID-19,” PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked the president if he counts himself at all responsible.
Trump not only claimed “I don’t know anything about it,” he also called the question “nasty.”
“It’s the—it’s the administration. Perhaps they do that. You know, people let people go. You used to be with a different newspaper than you are now. You know, things like that happen,” he added.
Now video has emerged from 2018 in which Trump brags about his extensive cuts to public health organizations.
“You have consistently called for enormous cuts to the CDC, the NIH, and the WHO,” a White House reporter says in the resurfaced clip. “You’ve talked a lot today about how these professionals are excellent, are critical, are necessary. Does this experience give you pause about those cuts?”
“No,” Trump replies. “We can get money, we can increase staff—we know all the people. This is a question I asked the doctors before. Some of the people we cut, they haven’t used for many, many years, and if we have ever need them we can get them very, very quickly. And rather than spending the money—I’m a business person. I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them. When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.”