Navarro Made Side Deals When Trump Ignored COVID Threats

Peter Navarro is not a doctor, but he pretends to talk like one on TV. Navarro, a former economist who was a White House trade adviser during the latter part of the Trump Administration, still continues to push his lies about the Coronavirus on Fox News and other right-wing outlets, but it turns out all of the yelling and crazy Zoom backgrounds might just be all for show.

It turns out that Navarro privately pursued his own coronavirus response with little oversight after the former guy ignored his warnings. Congressional investigators released documents Wednesday showing that former Navarro urged the former president on March 1, 2020, to “MOVE IN ‘TRUMP TIME'” to invest in drug-making ingredients, coronavirus tests, and other supplies to fight the pandemic that was spreading out of control at the time, but then made his own side deals over the following months.

“There is NO downside risk to taking swift actions as an insurance policy against what may be a very serious public health emergency,” Navarro wrote at the time. “If the covid-19 crisis quickly recedes, the only thing we will have been guilty of is prudence.”

At the time of Navarro’s warning, there were 100 confirmed cases in the U.S. and just two deaths, and he began his own behind-the-scenes strategy to acquire needed supplies, and now Democratic lawmakers are asking the Biden administration to release the documents the Trump administration had refused to turn over.

Navarro steered a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak to produce drug-making ingredients, which was paused last year after lawmakers opened multiple probes into the deal, and he also got $354 million for a single-source contract with the startup Phlow to make pharmaceutical ingredients and $96 million single-source contracts with AirBoss Defense Group for powered respirators and filters.

Phlow had never previously made drugs and was incorporated in January 2020, but won favor with Navarro by arguing the U.S. was too dependent on China, and the startup got the deal, which included $458 million more in contract options after the trade adviser asked Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency to “please move this puppy in Trump time.” Navarro also steered nearly $100 million to AirBoss, where Trump-friendly retired Gen. Jack Keane was a paid consultant.


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