- Former National Security Adviser John Bolton blasted President Donald Trump for his response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling it “a tragedy for Americans.”
- “It’s just been one mistake after another,” Bolton said in an interview with CNN Wednesday.
- Bolton joins a growing group of critics who are speaking out against the White House’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton slammed President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the White House bungled the response, leading to “one mistake after another.”
“They’ve made a complete mess of it, and it’s been a tragedy for Americans, those who have died and their families, the economic consequences,” Bolton said Wednesday on CNN.
“To this day, the administration does not have a coronavirus strategy. Now, they may yet get the benefit of it. Recent polls apparently show concern with the virus diminishing as a political matter, so they may be able to tough their way through it. But it’s just been one mistake after another.”
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus, even as health officials appointed by him sang a different tune and warned Americans to employ protective measures. The president at times also dismissed or contradicted guidance from health officials, including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Trump has also insisted, without concrete evidence, that the coronavirus will “go away” while pushing for schools to reopen despite warnings from health officials that the disease will spread quickly among children if schools reopened too soon.
The coronavirus has infected more than 5.9 million people nationwide, according to the most recent data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that figure, more than 181,000 people have died from it.
Bolton’s comments came amid the Republican National Convention, during which multiple Trump campaign ads and speakers painted a different reality of his administration’s response.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Voters who will take to the polls in November to determine whether Trump gets re-elected have indicated they’re not satisfied with the way he’s handled the pandemic. Only 35% of voters said they approved of his response in a July Quinnipiac University poll. That figure is compared with the overwhelming 62% who said they didn’t.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden has been using the president’s low numbers to buoy his own campaign. Biden remains one of Trump’s fiercest critics, using his campaign to position himself as a better leader than Trump.
“The president keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear,” Biden said while accepting the Democratic presidential nomination last week. “He keeps waiting for a miracle. I have news for him: No miracle is coming.”
In that same poll, 59% of those surveyed said they thought Biden would do a better job handling the pandemic, compared with just 35% who said the opposite.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.