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Report: Trump Downplayed COVID Threat

Sept. nine, 2020 — President Donald Trump understood in early February, before the to start with acknowledged U.S. loss of life from COVID-19, that the new coronavirus could be transmitted through the air and was deadlier than the seasonal flu.

“You just breathe the air and that is how it’s handed,” he said in a Feb. 7 simply call with journalist Bob Woodward. “And so that is a incredibly tricky one particular. That is a incredibly sensitive one particular. It’s also a lot more lethal than even your strenuous flus.”

“This is lethal stuff,” he said.

At the time, Trump was telling People that the U.S. was in tiny danger and that the outbreak would soon go away on its possess.

Requested about those statements in March, Trump said he needed to downplay the menace. “I needed to constantly play it down,” Trump informed Woodward. “I nonetheless like taking part in it down, mainly because I will not want to make a stress.”

In the exact job interview, he went on to accept the gravity of the menace struggling with even youthful grownups. “Just right now and yesterday, some startling information came out. It’s not just old, older. Youthful individuals also, lots of youthful individuals,” Trump said.

These admissions by the president are section of collection of 18 taped, on-the-history interviews with Woodward, who rose to fame for his role in exposing the Watergate scandal. Parts of those tapes aired right now on CNN and on the internet site of The  Washington Submit. In addition to the tapes, the information outlets also obtained advance copies of Woodward’s new reserve about the president, Rage, which will strike retailer shelves subsequent week.

In a CNN report on the job interview, Woodward suggests he predicted the president to chat about impeachment, considering the fact that he experienced just been acquitted by the Senate. Woodward suggests he was surprised when Trump’s emphasis was on the virus.

The U.S. bears the grim distinction of leading the earth in COVID-19 scenarios and fatalities. So considerably, the coronavirus has contaminated 6.3 million People and killed a lot more than a hundred ninety,000. In comparison to other wealthy nations, the U.S. has fared badly, having difficulties to appear up with techniques to contain the virus.

The financial state crashed in the wake of the countrywide reaction, leaving a lot more than 14 million People without the need of positions and pushing the unemployment level to a higher of 14%, one particular of the worst recorded in the present day era.

In a information convention from the White House soon after the tapes were being released, push secretary Kayleigh McEnany spelled out that president’s remarks this way: “At a time when you are struggling with insurmountable problems, it’s significant to convey relaxed.” When pressed by a reporter, she denied that the president experienced misled People about the menace from the virus. “This president does what leaders do. Very good leaders. It’s stay relaxed and resolute when you deal with an insurmountable obstacle.”

In accordance to point-examining by The Washington Submit, the president said that the virus will go away on its possess 31 situations in the to start with 3 months of the 12 months.

William Hanage, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard’s T.H. Chan Faculty of Community Wellbeing, suggests the president’s desire not to induce stress is understandable and a core tenet of community overall health. But he suggests Trump went about it the incorrect way.

“It was not surprising that he understood. What is surprising is that alternatively than get prepared and put together individuals for the disaster forward, he tried out to deny it,” he suggests.

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All legal rights reserved.

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