- All the Secret Service agents who went with Trump to Walter Reed previously had COVID, book says.
- Trump was hospitalized for COVID-19 in early October, and went on a limo ride as a show of force.
- Trump was deeply concerned about his public image while hospitalized, the book reported.
All the Secret Service agents who accompanied former President Donald Trump on his visit to Walter Reed hospital to get treated for COVID-19 had previously contracted the virus, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender's new book “Frankly We Did Win This Election.”
Trump, while infected and hospitalized, insisted on a public limo ride was widely criticized for appearing to put Secret Service agents in the presidential limo with him, decked out in full protective gear, at risk. Bender revealed in the book that only Secret Service agents with some COVID-19 immunity from a previous infection went to the hospital at all.
Records obtained by a watchdog group through the Freedom of Information Act in June found that almost 900 Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic, making up around 13% of the agency's total workforce.
Both “Frankly We Did Win This Election” and “Nightmare Scenario,” a book on the COVID-19 pandemic by two Washington Post reporters, revealed new details about the chaos and dysfunction surrounding the fall 2020 COVID-19 outbreak in the White House and Trump's own brush with the disease.
The White House, which routinely flouted recommended COVID-19 protocols like wearing masks around others and social distancing, relied heavily on rapid tests which were only around 80% accurate and yielded both false negatives and positive tests.
Trump himself, Bender reported, “stopped taking daily Covid tests sometime in the summer” of 2020, thinking that all the staff around him getting tested would keep him safe.
But that strategy backfired when multiple top White House officials, including the president and First Lady Melania Trump, tested positive after a White House event for then-Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett turned into a COVID superspreader.
While hospitalized, Trump was also enraged by a flub from his chief of staff Mark Meadows, who told White House reporters off the record (or so he thought) that Trump's condition was “very concerning” while Associated Press cameras were still rolling and capturing everything he said.
Trump, according to Bender, was deeply worried that not enough of his allies were on TV vouching for his health.
“I want all my f—ing surrogates out there,” Trump said, according to the book. “Get everybody on the Sunday shows, and push back on this narrative that I'm not doing well.”
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