Several officials announced that they were stepping down after a mob of the president’s supporters disrupted the process of certifying the election results on Wednesday.
Since the coronavirus spread from a metropolis on the Yangtze River across the globe, hard-liners in both Washington and Beijing have accelerated efforts to decouple elements of the relationship.
Some analysts are worried that the pressure from senior officials could distort assessments about the coronavirus and be used as a weapon in an escalating battle with China.
An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.
A memo from Peter Navarro is the most direct warning known to have circulated at a key moment among top administration officials.