• The response to the coronavirus pandemic from President Donald Trump and his administration has inspired a former staffer to Vice President Mike Pence to say she’s voting for Joe Biden in this fall’s election.
  • That staffer is Olivia Troye, who has filmed an ad explaining her decision.
  • Troye also worked on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“I’m Olivia Troye,” the woman in the ad says, staring straight into the camera. She’s not exactly a household name, but that’s not why she decided to film this ad — it’s her ex-boss who everybody knows. Troye, viewers are told, was an advisor to Vice President Mike Pence and worked on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It gave her a close-up perch from which to view the response of President Donald Trump and his administration to the devastating coronavirus pandemic, a response that left Troye disgusted enough that she decided to film an endorsement of Trump’s campaign rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn’t a matter of if (COVID-19) would become a big pandemic here in the United States, it was a matter of when,” Troye explains in the ad. “But the president didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year and how is this going to affect what he considers to be his record of success?”

It was shocking, she goes on to say in the ad, to see the president call the virus a “hoax” and say that everything is fine. She recalls being in a room with the president once where he allegedly mused that maybe the virus is a good thing, because “I don’t like shaking hands with people.”

Naturally, the White House has come out swinging, dismissing Troye as basically a disgruntled employee who apparently has an axe to grind. In response to Troye’s ad, White House spokesperson Judd Deere released a lengthy statement, per CNBC. The statement insinuates that Troye was basically a nobody within the administration, which begs the question of why this response was needed:

“Outside of generally watching the White House Coronavirus Taskforce from the overflow staff room, this disgruntled former detailee was never in private meetings with the President and her assertions have no basis in reality and are flat out inaccurate.” The statement continues by arguing that President Trump has “always put the well-being of the American people first as evidenced by his shutdown of the country, which saved millions of lives, activating the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War II to deliver critical supplies, the development of a never-before-seen testing system that is the envy of the world, and an unending focus on the rapid research and approval of scientifically proven therapeutics and an eventual vaccine.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.