President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House during a coronavirus task force briefing on April 23.
A former White House staffer this week slammed the Trump administration’s novel coronavirus response as a “failure” and said she would be voting for Joe Biden — arguing President Donald Trump has displayed a “flat out disregard for human life.”
In response, the White House dismissed Olivia Troye as “disgruntled” and her assessment as “baseless.”
Troye — who worked as an aide for Vice President Mike Pence and who was on the coronavirus task force — spoke to The Washington Post in an article published Thursday.
Her striking comments come as nearly 200,000 people have died in the U.S. from the respiratory illness. At least 6.6 million Americans have contracted the virus so far, according to a New York Times tracker.
Troye worked for the Trump administration for the last two years and left in August. She told the Post that the president’s “main concern was the economy and his reelection.”
She said his response has cost lives.
“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure,” she told the paper.
The White House quickly responded with pre-written statements about Troye’s time working for the administration.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said Troye was a “disgruntled former detailee” and “her assertions have no basis in reality and are flat out inaccurate.”
Troye, 43, told a different story to the Post, saying she helped organize “every single meeting” that the coronavirus task force had, helped advise Vice President Pence, 61, on the coronavirus throughout the pandemic and had gone so far as to help his senior aides write a mid-June editorial in the Wall Street Journal that defended the administration’s response to the virus.
“It was ludicrous,” she said of the op-ed, which hailed the Trump administration’s pandemic response as a success.
Troye described herself to the Post as a “lifelong Republican,” though she said she did not vote for Trump in 2016.
She is not Trump’s only coronavirus critic: The president’s handling of the pandemic has been scrutinized going back to the spring, including for problems with testing and for sending conflicting messages about the importance of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
In the summer, he infamously mused aloud if injecting disinfectant could be a successful treatment.
Audio released by journalist Bob Woodward shows Trump , 74, admitting that he knowingly downplayed the virus’ true threat — which he publicly said was similar to the flu — because he wanted to avoid “panic.”
The president has also contradicted his own health experts on a number of matters, such as the timeline of a coronavirus vaccine.
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Vice President Mike Pence (left) and