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Crisis: Bureaucratic Politics, the Trump Administration, and Covid-19

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This paper investigates the interplay between bureaucratic politics and decision-making processes within the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic response was shaped by the pulling and tugging between key players, including Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the National Security Council, and President Trump himself. Despite facing resistance from some officials, Trump often achieved his preferred policy outputs, such as undermining public health measures, by relying on a cadre of supportive aides. However, in areas like drug approvals, bureaucratic resistance proved more effective in countering Trump's demands. The paper concludes that the administration's overall pandemic response was abysmal, highlighting how Trump's inexperience and management style exacerbated the challenges posed by a complex crisis that threatened both human lives and economic stability.

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