MSNBC’s Jonathan Lemire: Trump Reacted Slowly to Coronavirus to ‘Play Nice with Xi Jinping

‘His focus was elsewhere’

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LEMIRE: "That’s the lens we need to look through a lot of these decisions that were made in January and February. It's how the president was looking at the re-election, trying to get through impeachment and then move forward. And you’re right, that was his doctor from the CDC who started briefing the media that this was going to get worse than people expected. The President lost his temper at her on the flight back from India. You mentioned Pottinger, Peter Navarro. Both also had given warnings within the West Wing, but both are considered within the building as hard-line China hawks and, therefore, they were seen as overreacting and they were easily dismissed. The President sided with other voices, including those belonging to Kushner and Mnuchin, who said, 'No, focus on the economy. The strategty here is to play nice with Xi Jinping. Don’t pressure him, criticize him, don’t urge more transparency. That slowed the presence of American doctors, American personnel, on the ground in  China, which would have gained valuable information about the disease as America plotted its own defense."

(via The Contemptor

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