Trump knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’, downplayed it

In recorded conversations with journalist Bob Woodward, Trump says he intentionally downplayed the pandemic risks.

by William Roberts // https://www.aljazeera.com // 9 Sept 2020

US President Donald Trump knew the coronavirus was “deadly” and worse than the flu even as he intentionally misled the US public in February and March about the risks, according to a forthcoming book by American journalist Bob Woodward.

Trump said in a recorded conversation with Woodward he has downplayed the risks of the coronavirus all along because he did not want to cause panic, according to a report in The Washington Post.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump told Woodward in a February 7 telephone call.

“And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu,” Trump said.

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

Trump had learned in an intelligence briefing from his national security advisers on January 28 that the virus presented a serious threat, according to Woodward’s book titled Rage and due out on September 15.

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