coronavirus pandemmic

While Trump Minimizes the Toll, Gov't Orders 100,000 New Body Bags

NBC News obtained a cache of internal documents

President Donald Trump speaks as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a news conference on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on April 27, 2020.
Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The federal government placed orders for well over 100,000 new body bags to hold victims of COVID-19 in April, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News, as well as public records.

The biggest set was earmarked for purchase the day after President Donald Trump projected that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people.

Body bag contracts bid by the Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments are just one illustration of how Trump’s sunny confidence about the nation’s readiness to re-open is in conflict with officials in his own administration who are quietly preparing for a far worse outcome.

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