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Trump asked if COVID-positive Americans overseas could be sent to Guantánamo Bay.
The February 2020 episode is detailed in a forthcoming book by two Washington Post reporters.
"Don't we have an island that we own?" Trump asked, according to the book.
Former President Donald Trump pondered whether COVID-positive Americans abroad could be sent to Guantánamo Bay in the early days of the pandemic, according to a forthcoming book by two Washington Post reporters.
"Don't we have an island that we own?" Trump queried officials assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020 as COVID-19 was tearing through Asia and Europe. "What about Guantánamo?"
As Trump explained it to his staff, according to the book: "We import goods...We are not going to import a virus."
The United States operates the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base and the infamous Guantánamo detention camp, where terrorist suspects are held in austere conditions, in the Caribbean nation of Cuba.
The officials in the room were shocked at the suggestion to quarantine Americans in Guantánamo, according to the book, and scrapped the idea.
Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump's rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions
The episode was detailed in a Monday report on the book, "Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History," written by Yasmeen Abultaeb and Damian Paletta and due for release on June 29.
The book, which further documents the chaos and dysfunction in the Trump administration's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, also describes Trump's opposition to COVID-19 testing, tension between federal agencies, and how the pandemic further strained Trump's rocky relationship with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, then a White House advisor.
Throughout the pandemic, Trump repeatedly downplayed the importance of testing and falsely blamed the US' high case count on tests.
"Testing is killing me!" Trump exclaimed to former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on March 18, according the book. "I'm going to lose the election because of testing! What idiot had the federal government do testing?"
Azar informed Trump that Kushner was, in fact, playing a leading role in the Trump administration's partnerships with the private sector to increase the US' testing capacity.
In another March episode detailed in the book, Kushner exploded at HHS official Robert Kadlec, calling him a "f------ moron" and lamenting that "we'll all be dead by June," standing in stark contrast to Kushner's April 2020 comments that things would be "really be rocking again" by July.
Read the original article on Business Insider