Former President Donald Trump said all mandates related to COVID-19 need to be revoked.
"We have to end the mandates," Trump told former top aide Kash Patel on EpochTV.com. "They have to be ended, and they shouldn’t have started."
Trump told EpochTV.com that President Joe Biden, after promising to "defeat the virus," has done "such a horrible job" in managing the pandemic.
"It's like they don't know what the hell they're doing," Trump told EpochTV.com in an interview that will premiere Monday.
"And he came in: I'm going to solve COVID. They had more [deaths] in his year — and that's after everything that we developed, therapeutics, vaccines, everything."
The World Health Organization this week said some countries can consider carefully relaxing the COVID-19 rules if they have high immunity rates, their healthcare systems are strong and the epidemiological trends are going in the right direction.
The coronavirus pandemic began late in 2019, when Trump was president. The federal government did not impose vaccine or mask mandates, though some states, such as California, required masks.
After Biden took office, many jurisdictions began requiring COVID-19 vaccines to gather indoors for dining, work, etc. Biden also ordered the military, federal agencies and contractors, healthcare workers, and all Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated.
Mask mandates largely have survived legal challenges unlike many vaccine mandates.
Under Biden, COVID-19-related deaths were higher in 2021 than 2020, and case records were set in many areas in late 2021 or January, The Epoch Times reported.
Trump early on in the pandemic urged the re-opening of closed down areas, and declared that the "cure" shouldn't be worse than COVID-19 itself.
An analysis of studies released last month by Johns Hopkins University indicated that lockdowns in the spring of 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by only 0.2% in the U.S. and Europe, Fox News reported.
Trump also reminded EpochTV.com that he shut off travel to and from China for most non-Americans about a month after the virus first appeared.
"I did close our country to China, and saved hundreds of thousands of lives," he told Patel, who was chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense under Trump.
"And I closed it to Europe too, when I saw what was happening in Italy, France, and Spain. And those two closures … they saved hundreds of thousands of lives."
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