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President Donald Trump’s administration is in “complete chaos” as officials scramble to address the coronavirus pandemic, according to White House officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Washington Post

Trump, during his Saturday press conference, botched identifying the first victim of the virus in the U.S. and additionally downplayed the significance of another person infected in California. 

“Trump’s playing down of the California patient at his news conference underscores the administration’s slapdash and often misleading attempts to contain not just the virus, but also potential political damage from the outbreak -- which has tanked financial markets, slowed global commerce, and killed some 3,000 people worldwide, including the first U.S. death, announced Saturday,” the Post reported, adding, “Since Trump touched down from a two-day trip to India early Wednesday morning, the administration struggled to cope with the fallout from the crisis -- shaking up and centralizing its coronavirus response team under the leadership of Vice President Pence, floating plans to stabilize the markets and publicly seeking to minimize the threat posed by the potential pandemic.”

The Post, speaking with over two dozen officials in the administration, reported that the White House is “...scrambling to gain control of a rudderless response defined by bureaucratic infighting, confusion, and misinformation.”

“It’s complete chaos,” one senior Trump administration official put it. “Everyone is just trying to get a handle on what the [expletive] is going on.”

Trump decided to employ Vice President Mike Pence, as well as other White House officials, to rune the White House task force set to combat the growing pandemic because “...bringing in a person from outside the administration might be seen as a failure -- and wondering whether such a person would be loyal to him, according to those familiar with the debate.”

“The decision to tap Pence and streamline all communication through the vice president’s office was primarily driven by a potent combination of a lack of leadership and structure inside the White House, four senior officials said, as well as a faulty CDC coronavirus diagnostic test, botched and conflicting messaging from senior health officials, and Trump’s obsession with the falling financial markets, two senior administration officials said,” the report added. “Many HHS employees fretted that financial concerns, rather than public health considerations, were dictation the administration’s response, one of the officials added.”

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