President Trump said on Tuesday that he had not seen memos from one of his top trade advisers warning in January of the consequences of a possible pandemic, but denied that he would have acted differently if he had. fact.
President was questioned during a press briefing on the coronavirus regarding memos from Peter Navarro in which the commercial adviser described the economic and public health problems that could arise if the virus spread from mainland China .
The memo was distributed in late January, at the same time that Trump insisted that the issue was “under control.”
“I don’t think that would have changed it, because I basically did what the memo said,” said Trump, referring to his decision in late January to restrict travel from China.
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Trump said he read the memos, which were posted by Axios late Monday night, “there may be a day.”
He praised Navarro and said the two had “the same instincts” on the matter.
“It was a feeling he had. I think he talked to some of the staff, “said Trump. ” I have not seen it. “
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Navarro pleaded in a note to the National Security Council dated January 29 for an immediate travel ban to China. The same day that the first memo was sent, Trump formed the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
In a subsequent memo a few days later, Navarro warned that a full-blown pandemic could kill up to 2 million Americans. He called for at least $ 3 billion to support prevention, treatment, inoculation and diagnostic efforts, Axios reported.
While Trump limited travel from China in late January, he continued to minimize the virus in February. He said at various times this month that the virus would dissipate in April with warmer weather and that the number of cases would soon drop to “near zero”.
Trump defended his pink tone at the time, telling reporters on Tuesday that he thought it was his role as president to be a “cheerleader.”
“I am a cheerleader for this country,” he said. “I don’t want to create havoc and shock and everything in between. “
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