A former senior adviser to the White House coronavirus task force is once again calling out President Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
In an interview with NBC News’s Andrea Mitchell that is set to air on Tuesday evening, Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Pence who recently left the White House, said: “I felt that in my heart and in my entire being, I think American lives were continuing to be on the line.”
In a clip of the interview that aired on NBC’s “TODAY” show, Troye said the task force had discussions as early as late January about how the coronavirus “was going to be big.”
Mitchell pointed out that soon after, the president said the virus is “going to disappear.”
“It was frightening,” Troye said. “When you’re the president, words matter.”
“It’s very hard when you’re trying to actually base things on facts and science and on the data to have a president that wasn’t focused on that,” Troye said during the interview, according to NBC News. “He was really focused on public image, messaging and it was really more about, you know, his personal agenda than really the agenda that the task force had at hand, which was how are we going to save and protect Americans.”
Troye, who also worked as a homeland security and counterterrorism aide to Pence, also called out Trump’s coronavirus response in a Sept. 17 ad posted by Republican Voters Against Trump.
Troye, who said she’s been a Republican her entire life, said she plans to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall.
Trump and Pence both dismissed her comments last Thursday.
“I have no idea who she is,” Trump told reporters. “I never met her, to the best of my knowledge. Maybe she was in a room. I have no idea who she is. She doesn’t know me.”