According to a new book by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, early in the pandemic Donald Trump wanted to send American citizens infected with COVID-19 abroad to America’s most infamous prison instead of allowing them to return to their homes. Which is how Trump qualified as Joy Reid’s “The Absolute Worst” on Monday’s episode of her MSNBC show.
Abutaleb and Paletta’s book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” details, among other things, a meeting where Trump literally suggested detaining and imprisoning Americans who had traveled overseas and become infected with COVID at Guantanamo Bay.
Reid usually declares someone “The Absolute Worst” at some point each week during “The Reid Out,” roasting whomever — or whatever — is bothering her the most that day and spoiler, it’s usually Republican shenanigans. And for the latest installment she singled out all of that.
“The absolute worst, in fact, is the bonkers story told by the authors about what Trump reportedly wanted to do with Americans were infected with the coronavirus looking to come home overseas back in February of 2020,” Reid said. “Right as COVID began to surge, it turns out that he wanted to lock them up. According to the book, during a situation room meeting, Trump turned to his team and said, ‘do we have an island that we owe? What about Guantanamo? We import goods. We are not importing viruses.'”
Reid continued, outraged. “Hear that, America? the President of the United States was looking to send American citizens to the same place that they detain terrorism suspects forever, because he didn’t want them increasing the number of cases in the United States,” she said.
Reid also noted that the book says Trump actually floated this idea of imprisoning Americans for being sick several times. “According to the book Trump brought it up a second time, but stunned aides scuttled the idea. It’s another example of just how awful the previous president’s response to the crisis and really just how awful the previous president really was.”
The book also reveals an exchange between Trump and former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar where Trump was incensed about high counts of positive COVID tests early in the pandemic.
“We know their incompetence ultimately allowed for more than 605,000 Americans to die from the virus,” Reid said, lambasting the former president for not doing enough to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the pandemic’s outset. Reid also pointed out that Trump was initially concerned with the potential political impact a slew of positive COVID-19 tests could have on how his administration looked.
“Trump freaked out on HHS Secretary Alex Azar screaming, ‘I’m going to lose the election because of testing. What idiot had the federal government do testing?’ Azar had to remind Trump that the idiot he was referring to was the guy currently married to his favorite daughter Ivanka,” Reid said, talking about Jared Kushner. Earlier in the bit, Reid referred to Kushner as a “haunted Victorian man-child.”
Take a look at the clip below.