When did you first realize that things were going wrong between you and President Trump?
This coincided largely with the rapid escalation of cases in the northeastern part of the country, especially in the metropolitan area of New York. I would try to express the seriousness of the situation, and the president’s response was always inclined to “Well, it’s not that bad, is it?” And I would say, “Yes, it’s so bad.” to minimize it. Not saying, “I want you to minimize it,” but “Oh, was it really that bad?”
He would take their opinion just as seriously – based on no data, just an anecdote – that something could really matter. It was not just hydroxychloroquine, but a variety of approaches from alternative medicine. It was always, “A man called me, my friend from blah, blah, blah.” Then my anxiety began to escalate.
Did you have any problems with him during the first three years of his presidency?
No, he barely knew who I was. I first met him in September 2019, when I was asked to go down to the White House, bring my white coat and stay there while he signed an executive order for something about the flu. Then, starting in January, February 2020, there was very intense participation, going down to the White House very, very often.
There was a time last February when things changed. Alex Hazard led the White House Coronavirus Task Force and beyond suddenly Mike Pence was, and President Trump was on the podium, taking questions and arguing with reporters. What happened?