Rage by Bob Woodward:
The upbeat messages from the administration continued. “We have it very much under control,” Trump told reporters on February 23. “Very interestingly, we’ve had no deaths.” The next day he tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” and added, “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
But on February 25, as Trump boarded Air Force One to return from a state visit to India, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, issued a stark public warning. Schools might have to close, conferences might be curtailed, and businesses may have to have employees work from hom. “The disruption to everyday life may be severe,” she told reporters. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”
Some conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, immediately jumped on Messonnier as part of a deep state conspiracy to use the virus to undermine Trump. They pointed out that Messonnier was the sister of Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, who had overseen the Mueller investigation and resigned in spring 2019.