White House dealing with shakeups, controversies amid spread of COVID-19

What to expect from Trump's 5 p.m. ET coronavirus news conference
Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 07, 2020

The last 24 hours have marked a number of shakeups and headlines surrounding the Trump administration.

Here are some of the headlines coming out of the White House as the spread of COVID-19 continues through the US:

  • On Tuesday, Trump announced a major reorganization of his press shop, sending his press secretary Stephanie Grisham to the East Wing, and bringing on Kayleigh McEnany as his new press secretary. McEnany, who gained attention as a Trump surrogate on CNN during the 2016 election, was moved over from Trump’s campaign staff.
  • Thomas Modly, the acting Navy secretary who fired USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier, resigned on Tuesday, one day after reports surfaced that he called Crozier "stupid." Crozier was fired for leaking a memo about the spread of COVID-19 on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
  • HHS principal deputy inspector general Christi Grimm, who has been an inspector general since the Clinton administration, was targeted by Trump on Tuesday. Grimm issued a report late last week that said hospitals nationwide faced challenges in receiving supplies in the lead up to the spread of COVID-19.

“Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report,” Trump said. “Another Fake Dossier!”

Grimm's report can be seen here.

  • Late Monday, the New York Times released a pair of stories targeting the Trump administration. The Times reported that White House economic adviser Peter Navarro warned of the risks to the US economy of a spread of COVID-19 as Trump downplayed the threat the virus posed to the US.
  • Also late Monday, the Times reported that “Trump has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.” Trump has been pushing hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19, despite it lacking FDA approval and unclear results.