Trump Adviser Slams 'Kumbaya of Incompetence'

Peter Navarro is unleashed on the Sunday talkies
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2020 2:40 PM CDT
Trump Adviser Slams 'Kumbaya of Incompetence'
In this April 2, 2020, file photo, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

A top White House economic adviser hit the talk-show circuit Sunday and slammed everyone from the CDC to China to former President Obama, Politico reports. "I'm glad Mr. Obama has a new job as Joe Biden's press secretary," Peter Navarro said on ABC's This Week, responding to Obama's latest criticisms of the administration. "As far as I'm concerned, his administration was a kumbaya of incompetence in which we saw millions of manufacturing jobs go off to China." Among his other remarks, and one from a federal official who dared disagree with him:

  • "Early on in this virus, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space, really let the country down with the testing because not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy, they had a bad test," said Navarro on NBC's Meet the Press. "And that did set us back."
  • As for China, Navarro warned about China possibly stealing intellectual property—including vaccines. "And what would they do with it? It wouldn't be a benign experience," he said on This Week. "They'd use that vaccine to profiteer and hold the world hostage. So yes, I do blame the Chinese."
  • Navarro also criticized the notion—pressed by Democratic senators—that President Trump should use the Defense Production Act to increase production of test kits and protective gear. "We're using the DPA whenever we need to, and we are using it quite effectively," he said. "These Democratic senators ought to get out more often and see what the Trump administration is doing."
  • Navarro's detractor? Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. "I don't believe the CDC let this country down," he said on CBS' Face the Nation. "I believe the CDC serves an important public health role."
(Read more Sunday morning talk shows stories.)

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