I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker:
Biegun opened with what he and the group thought would be a basic overview of the effort to bring home diplomats and permanent residents, as well as protections to ensure the evacuated Americans didn’t spread the virus after returning. The president wanted to know how many people. Biegun estimated it would be several hundred right away, and eventually could be a couple of thousand.
“We’re not letting them come back,” he said. “You risk increasing my numbers. You won’t increase my numbers.”
Trump didn’t want sick Americans landing on U.S. soil, even if they were working for the State Department, or else the government would have to report a rise in infections, and that would make the public—the voters—nervous. The president was always thinking about the political ramifications for himself, even during a crisis.