CDC director ‘prayed’ Trump getting severe Covid would help him take it seriously

Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield reportedly prayed that former President Trump would come out of his personal bout with COVID-19 with a “newfound appreciation for the seriousness of the threat.”

Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abultaeb and Damian Paletta detail in an excerpt of their new book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” that Redfield “prayed that Trump would tell Americans they should listen to public health advisers before it was too late.” 

Trump announced on Twitter in October 2020 that he and former first lady Melania Trump contracted COVID-19, leading to the president’s three day hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 


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previous excerpt notes that Trump’s battle with COVID-19 was more severe than the former president intimated to the public. The White House, during Trump’s stint at Walter Reed, reportedly asked then-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn to immediately sign off on a compassionate-use authorization for a monoclonal antibody treatment.

“When Hahn later learned the effort was on behalf of the president, he was stunned. For God’s sake, he thought, it’s the president who’s sick, and you want us to bend the rules?” the excerpt reads. “Trump was in the highest-risk category for severe disease from covid-19 — at 74, he rarely exercised and was considered medically obese. He was the type of patient with whom you would want to take every possible precaution.”


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The Post reporters wrote that Redfield hoped Trump’s hospitalization would be a turning point and that he would take the opportunity to “remind people that anyone could be susceptible to the coronavirus — even the president, the first lady and their son. That he would tell them how they could protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The reporters noted that Trump seemed to do the opposite of what Redfield wished when he arrived on the South Lawn following his stint at Walter Reed. 

“He made a military salute as the helicopter departed the South Lawn, and then strode into the White House, passing staffers on his way and failing to protect them from the virus particles emitted from his nose and mouth,” Abultaeb and Paletta wrote. 

The book is scheduled for release on June 29. 


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