Two aides believed Trump was ‘gravely ill’ when he had COVID and might not have made it out of medical facility: book excerpt

Trump-walter-reed
President Trump is shown working at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Oct. 3, 2020. Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House via AP
  • The White House was in scrambles after former President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • He was hospitalized at the Walter Reed Medical Center and was sicker than he wanted the public to know.
  • An excerpt from a forthcoming book by two Washington Post reporters says at least two aides believed he would not make it out of there.
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Two aides feared that former President Donald Trump would not make it out of Walter Reed Medical Center when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a new book by two reporters from the Washington Post.

An excerpt of the book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” illustrates the White House’s chaotic response to Trump’s October 2020 COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization at Walter Reed. The book, written by Yasmeen Abultaeb and Damian Paletta, is due for release on June 29.

Trump announced over Twitter in October that he and then first lady Melania had contracted COVID-19. It was just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, a contentious battle between him and Joe Biden, who came out the victor.

At the same time, the nation was dealing with a pandemic. And Trump for months at this point had flouted or mocked COVID-19 safety restrictions like mask-wearing. He also held giant rallies with thousands of mask-less people in attendance to drum up support for his 2020 re-election bid.

The excerpt details the meticulous effort behind the scenes at the White House to secure treatment options for Trump, even as the world’s top pharmaceutical companies scrambled to come up with effective vaccines against the coronavirus.

Among those most fearful of the prospect of Trump not returning to the White House was Mark Meadows, former chief of staff. He was “consumed with fear” that Trump would die from the disease, the excerpt says.

When he contracted the virus, Trump was considered a high-risk patient because of his age and weight.

Trump was far sicker than he wanted the public to know, the excerpt says.

Aides heard he was “gravely ill.” At one point over the weekend after his positive diagnosis, he had unexpectedly missed a public event with nursing home representatives, according to the excerpt. Former Vice President Mike Pence had to sub in for him.