Olivia Troye, a former top adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said that some members of the Trump administration continue to shrug off the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think there are still people walking around the White House today who don’t actually believe this virus is real. A lot of them disregard it,” she said on CNN’s “New Day.”
More than 205,000 Americans have now died due to Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Troye said that the Centers for Disease and Prevention was pushed to play down the risks of Covid-19 in reopening schools.
“What I saw firsthand was a lot of the manipulation of the data, trying to figure out how to tell a story that was less grim than the reality really was,” she said.
She said people in the White House tasked more junior-level staffers to find data to support the narrative that the coronavirus only affects older individuals.
The American people have “been told falsities,” Troye said. “They’ve not been told the truth. They also need to remember this is a person making decisions on how we respond to events like this. And this was a major one. And it was just very poorly handled. [Trump] only cared about himself.”