After their warnings had gone largely unheeded for months in the dormant West Wing, Deborah Birx, Anthony S. Fauci, Stephen Hahn and Robert Redfield together sounded new alarms, cautioning of a dark winter to come without dramatic action to slow community spread.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, among the many Trump aides who were infected with the virus this fall, told the doctors he did not believe their troubling data assessment. And he accused them of outlining problems without prescribing solutions.
The doctors explained that the solutions were simple and had long been clear — among them, to leverage the power of the presidential bully pulpit to persuade all Americans to wear masks, especially the legions of Trump supporters refusing to do so, and to dramatically expand testing.
Trump went days without mentioning the pandemic other than to celebrate progress on vaccines. Instead used his megaphone almost exclusively to spread misinformation in a failed attempt to overturn the results of the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
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