Peter Navarro’s January Memos to President Trump Re: COVID-19

One of the claims that some of the Trump supporters I know make about Trump’s complete failure to address the coronavirus outbreak is that the administration simply didn’t know how severe COVID-19 was likely to be until it was too late.

This is nonsense.

They knew.

Trump Ponders Injecting Disinfectant to Fight COVID-19

Distracted Trump Bleach Meme
Distracted Trump Bleach Meme

A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting.

So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting, right?

And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.

So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.

Donald Trump, April 23, 2020

Donald Trump on April 20, 2020–COVID-19 Deaths Will End Up at 50 or 60 Thousand

On April 10, 2020, Donald Trump gave one of his bizarre COVID-19 briefings where he started to take credit for what he thought would be the relatively low number of COVID-19 deaths.

So, nobody knows what the number is, but we had a number of 100,000 lives. As many as that is, it’s impossible to even think of it. And that was the low end with a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of — you can call it many different things. Our people had to be extremely strong and brave to be able to put up with what they’ve put up with. But the minimum, if you did this social distancing at every other aspect — and I think I can say 90 percent, maybe even more than that, were able to do it — the minimum number was 100,000 lives, and I think we’ll be substantially under that number.

Hard to believe that if you had 60,000 — you could never be happy, but that’s a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking. So they said between 100- and 220,000 lives on the minimum side, and then up to 2.2 million lives if we didn’t do anything. But it showed a just tremendous resolve by the people of this country.

So we’ll see what it ends up being, but it looks like we’re headed to a number substantially below the 100,000. That would be the low mark. And I hope that bears out.

Ten days later, on April 10, 2020, Trump continued to push that overall death estimate of 60,000.

But we did the right thing, because if we didn’t do it, you would have had a million people, a million and a half people, maybe 2 million people dead.  Now, we’re going toward 50, I’m hearing, or 60,000 people.  One is too many.  I always say it: One is too many.  But we’re going toward 50- or 60,000 people.  That’s at the lower — as you know, the low number was supposed to be 100,000 people.  We — we could end up at 50 to 60.  Okay?  It’s horrible.  If we didn’t do what we did, we would have had, I think, a million people, maybe 2 million people, maybe more than that.

It is now clear that the U.S. will surpass 60,000 deaths within the first few days of May. As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump points out, that’s likely an undercount of total mortality.

We’ll pass 50,000 within days and will likely hit 60,000 deaths by early May. That’s just recorded deaths. The actual death toll will almost certainly be much higher, as deaths outside hospitals and ones that were not preceded by coronavirus tests — including some in early February in California — are added to the total.

Moreover, there will likely be secondary waves of infection once state shutdown and social distancing requirements are eased.

In other words, even when people were celebrating its downward revision to 60,000 deaths, that was still only the estimated total through the early summer. It didn’t include any estimate of what might happen should there be a resurgence in the presence of the virus this fall and winter, as we usually see with the flu. (IHME’s projected death toll through July is now about 67,000.)

All that precious time, lives, and prosperity lost while Trump deluded himself that the virus was just going to miraculously disappear, or that the final death tool would only be 60,000.