The coronavirus outbreak has sparked plenty of infighting and finger-pointing within the Trump administration, according to a new report.
Politico on Tuesday reported that Trump officials including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and domestic policy chief Joe Grogan have "turned their fire" on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as he leads the administration's coronavirus response, feeling that he "poorly coordinated the strategy, failed to escalate the potential risks to Trump and pushed for a multibillion-dollar emergency-funding request that they initially viewed as extreme."
This funding, in fact, had been a "major sticking point" between the White House and Azar before the administration ultimately sought $2.5 billion from Congress on Monday, Politico writes. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the administration's request "long overdue" but "completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency," NBC News reports.
Additionally, Politico reports, there was "finger-pointing and second-guessing for days" after 14 Americans with coronavirus were evacuated from a cruise ship recently. Amid all this consternation, Politico writes at least two of Azar's allies are now "worried that the secretary's job is at risk if the coronavirus response goes poorly."
Speaking of worrying, Trump allies and advisers are reportedly fearful of how a "botched" response to the coronavirus could affect the economy, although Trump himself continues to downplay the crisis, tweeting on Monday that "the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."