Story at a glance

  • President Trump said he hoped the coronavirus would take out his national security adviser John Bolton, claims an upcoming book.
  • The incident reportedly occurred following the release of Bolton’s tell-all.
  • The alleged incident is detailed in the book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History," by Washington Post reporters.

President Trump allegedly said he hoped the coronavirus would take out his national security adviser John Bolton, according to an upcoming book by two Washington Post reporters.

The book, "Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History," describes an alleged incident following the release of Bolton’s own tell-all about his time working with the president.

In an excerpt released by Axios, the book claims: "Trump had tried to joke about the virus for months, sometimes even mocking people who had become ill. ... At one meeting several months [before Trump got sick], NEC director Larry Kudlow had stifled a cough. The room had frozen.. ... Trump had waved his hands in front of his face, as if to jokingly ward off any flying virus particles, and then cracked a smile. ‘I was just kidding,’ he'd said. ‘Larry will never get COVID. He will defeat it with his optimism.’ ... ‘John Bolton,’ he had said. ... ‘Hopefully COVID takes out John.’"


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"Nightmare Scenario," written by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, details the Trump administration’s behind-the-scenes response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Other chaotic incidents reportedly covered in the book include then-chief of staff Mark Meadows yelling at then-Assistant Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department Robert Kadlec over the rollout of the antiviral treatment remdesivir and Trump reportedly asking if COVID-19 patients could be sent to Guantánamo Bay to contain the virus.

The book is due to be released on Tuesday.


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Published on Jun 24, 2021