President Trump was upset with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar over his own administration’s initial messaging on the coronavirus, claiming that it scared people, according to a new New York Times report on the White House’s internal debate over how to inform the public about the outbreak.
After Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned reporters on Feb. 25 that a “disruption” to day-to-day life was imminent, Trump called Azar.
Per the Times, Trump “shouted” at his health and human services secretary, saying Messonnier’s message “scared people,” in the Times’ words.
Trump was reportedly “alarmed,” in the Times words, questioning whether the U.S. was really at a point where it needed to start closing schools, an official who heard the call told the Times.
Read the full Times report here.