In a video denouncing President Donald Trump as being more concerned with his reelection than with protecting Americans from the Covid-19 pandemic, a former senior aide to Vice President Mike Pence and member of the administration's Coronavirus Task Force made political waves Friday after saying she will vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and encouraging other Republicans to do the same.
"It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything's OK when we know that it's not."
Olivia Troye was a counterterrorism and homeland security specialist in the vice president's office before quitting in August. A self-described "lifelong Republican" who entered public service in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Troye shared damning details of the president's bungled coronavirus response and dangerous narcissism.
Troye—who is the first member of the president's Coronavirus Task Force to speak out publicly against him—accused Trump in the video, which was posted online Thursday night by the group Republican Voters Against Trump, of having a "flat-out disregard for human life" as he fights for a second term.
"It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything's OK when we know that it's not," Troye said in the video. "He doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself."
Trump allegedly told attendees at one meeting that "maybe this Covid thing's a good thing." According to Troye, the president explained that "I don't like shaking hands with people, [and now] I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people."
"Those disgusting people are the same people that he claims to care about," said Troye. "These are the people still going to his rallies today who have complete faith in who he is."
"If the president had taken this virus seriously, or if he had actually made an effort to tell how serious it was, he would have slowed the virus spread, he would have saved lives," she asserted.
To date, there have been over 6.7 million reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S., and more than 198,000 people in the country have died from the disease.
The Trump administration on Friday vehemently denied Troye's accusations. However, earlier this year the president himself admitted on tape to journalist Bob Woodward that he intentionally misled the public about the severity of the pandemic.
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Pence dismissed Troye as "disgruntled that her detail was cut short because she was no longer capable of keeping up with her day-to-day duties," although one former Trump official told CNN he saw the vice president praise her work. A former colleague also tweeted praise of Troye.
I served in Iraq with @OliviaTroye. There is zero chance she is a disgruntled employee. Zero. She is/was a dedicated, hard-working public servant who served her #country with #honor. Period. https://t.co/iBz0d6JNvf
— Eric Pelofsky (@EPelofsky) September 18, 2020
As he almost always does when faced with allegations of wrongdoing, Trump said on Thursday evening that he had "no idea" who Troye is.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Troye said she was worried about the administration rushing an inadequately tested vaccine to the public ahead of the November election.
— Jane Mayer (@JaneMayerNYer) September 18, 2020
"What I'm really concerned about is if they rush this vaccine and pressure people and get something out because they want to save the election," she said.
Troye said that she knows she is "not alone" among disaffected administration officials.
"I hope that this will encourage other voices who were obviously much more senior than I was to tell the truth about the situation here we're in, and how dangerous this is," she said of her coming out against Trump.