He called a New York Times story about the pressure campaign accurate.
Troye, who worked as Pence’s chief of staff with the White House Coronavirus Task Force for months before leaving the Trump administration last month, said the situation was a “nightmare.”
“Unfortunately, this was an effort, you know, at times where I would have been caught off guard, where there would have been the task of finding different data for the graphs to show that the virus wasn’t that bad for certain populations, ages or data. demographics, “Troye, Pence’s former national security adviser, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Monday.
Troye confirmed an incident in June in which she and those young staff members, pushed by Pence chief of staff Marc Short, tried to circumvent the CDC to find data on Covid-19 that would better support President Donald Trump’s position. that Covid-19 poses a small danger to children and that schools should reopen.
“I think it put these task force members and doctors in a very challenging position,” Troye said, describing “what was going on behind the scenes.”
“I think you saw from the beginning the president’s narrative was” it’s okay. Everything is alright. It’s time to get back to normal. Let’s resume the economy “”.
Trump told the governors: “” You have to open the schools. You have to try to make it seem like everything is fine when it really isn’t. “I think it was because his answer was so broken down the road, it was to tell everything but the truth,” Troye said.
The dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and vaccine expert Dr. Peter Hotez, they called it a “deliberate disinformation campaign”.
“This is actually a component of a rather impressive disinformation campaign in a nefarious way and an anti-scientific disinformation campaign sponsored by the White House,” Hotez said.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 587,000 children in the United States have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, a 15% increase in cases. in children between September. 3 and 17 September.
Redfield is in a difficult position
Troye said he believed Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC chief, had a hard time trying to balance the policy and what scientists were finding out about the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have seen Dr. Redfield try to understand how he will move in this political landscape as he represented true proof of what the CDC scientists and experts and all the doctors were telling him.”
Trump has publicly contradicted Redfield on several occasions, including just over a week ago after Redfield testified in a Senate hearing about a possible timeline for the Covid-19 vaccine. The president said Redfield “made a mistake” and was “confused” when he said a vaccine would not be available until next summer.
Troye said he avoided criticizing members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force because he saw the struggle over the summer between trying to balance Trump’s agenda of reopening the economy and schools with communicating deadly risks of the pandemic.
“I think it has put these task force members and doctors in a very challenging position. I have seen them fight firsthand on a daily basis,” he said.
The CDC suddenly changed its guidance on testing asymptomatic coronavirus patients, saying they didn’t need to be tested, before reversing guidance a week later.
US health communications and human services officials had recently pushed to change the language in weekly science reports released by the CDC in order not to undermine Trump’s political message, a federal health official told CNN several weeks ago. Redfield then replied that “at no time was the scientific integrity” of these reports compromised.
But he declined to say if he talked to Pence about the problems he saw. Cuomo asked her if Pence had also been asked to keep quiet about the risks to children if schools were opened too early.
“Everyone has a boss and unfortunately for Vice President Pence, his boss is Donald Trump,” he said.