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Coronavirus

Donald Trump said of virus, ‘I wanted to always play it down’

Trump acknowledged the virus’ severity even as he downplayed it in public.

President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat even as he was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call with Woodward. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.

Trump told Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the President said.

The Washington Post, where Woodward serves as associate editor, reported excerpts of the book, “Rage” on Wednesday, as did CNN. The book also covers race relations, diplomacy with North Korea and a range of other issues that have arisen during the past two years.

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The book is based in part on 18 interviews that Woodward conducted with Trump between December and July.

“Trump never did seem willing to fully mobilize the federal government and continually seemed to push problems off on the states,” Woodward writes. “There was no real management theory of the case or how to organize a massive enterprise to deal with one of the most complex emergencies the United States had ever faced.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the President’s words to the public were designed to express confidence and calm at a time of insurmountable challenges.

“The President has never lied to the American public on COVID. The President was expressing calm and his actions reflect that,” McEnany said.

McEnany took questions about the book during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday. She said his actions reflect that he took COVID-19 seriously.

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Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. S.B. ANTHONY

    September 9, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    “The President has never lied to the American public on COVID. The President was expressing calm and his actions reflect that,”

    Nero fiddled, Rome burned.
    Trump lied, Americans died.

    • J. A. Drake

      September 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      Actually, no. He said the same thing in a broadcast in March, 2020. He always wanted people to remain calm. But you? You would prefer a panic? Meanwhile, while “Rome was burning,” Pelosi and Schumer were involved in impeachment proceedings and telling people to enjoy the Chinese New Years parade. It’s been the media making everyone crazy about the Wuhan Virus. NYT said this week that 90% of people tested positive did not carry enough viral load to be contagious. The truth will be in the numbers nextvyear when we find out that the usual number of people who die in the US in a year, about 2,850,000 is not 3,200,000. If the numbers are close to the same then we’ll know no more people died than in a usual flue season.

  2. James Robert Miles

    September 9, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Trump is a murderer when it comes to this virus plain and simple! He chose to sit on his hands and do nothing. He is unworthy of the office he holds. Make America truly great again, DUMP TRUMP!!

    • J. A. Drake

      September 11, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Wrong. Before any Democrat acknowledged the virus and was busy in impeachment, he closed flights from China AND made the Wuhan Virus task force. He didn’t sit on his hands so you’re lying.

  3. Sonja Fitch

    September 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Play it down! You stupid mother Fer! You encouraged people to not wear mask meet in large groups send our children back to schools knowing this trumpvirus was air borne! You lousy sob! Lock him in a bunker band throw away the key now!!!!!

    • J. A. Drake

      September 11, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Sonja!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re wrong as usual and the spittle hit my screen as you went unhinged with lies.

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