The president of the United States, Donald Trump, recognized in a series of interviews granted to journalist Bob Woodward to “downplay” the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in March this year.
This is revealed in Woodward’s new book, entitled ‘Rage’ (‘Rabies’), in which the journalist says that Trump knew the dangerousness of the virus, that it was very contagious, that it was “deadlier than even a very bad flu” and he repeatedly downplayed it publicly.
The book is based on conversations that Woodward had with Trump between December 5, 2019 and July 21, 2020. Thus, the president told Woodward on February 7 that covid-19 “is a deadly thing,” according to has informed the television network CNN, which has accessed some of these recordings.
“It’s quite surprising,” the US president told the journalist about the virus, while adding that it was perhaps five times “more deadly” than the flu.
However, Trump assured Woodward that he “always” wanted to “downplay” the pandemic on March 19, despite the fact that days before he had declared a national emergency due to covid-19 in the United States. Trump also claimed that a president’s job is to “keep America safe.” and, also in March, he noted that he “still” liked to downplay the threat because he did not intend to “create panic.”
Trump’s statements contrast with his public appearances at that time, when he insisted that the coronavirus “was going to disappear” and that “everything would be fine.”
The White House wanted to “show confidence”
The president, for his part, has defended his response to the pandemic and insisted that “a sense of panic cannot be shown.” «I love our country. And I don’t want people to be scared. I do not want to create panic, “he added, ensuring that the White House wanted to” show confidence “and” strength. “
The White House has emphasized that the president “has never lied to the American public” about the coronavirus. According to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump sought to convey calm when he downplayed the coronavirus publicly and privately acknowledged its severity.
“When faced with insurmountable challenges, it is important to express confidence and calm”, McEnany has indicated, as reported by CNN. “The president expressed calm and his actions reflect that,” he added.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. Until this Wednesday, it has confirmed more than 6.3 million cases, while the fatalities as a result of the disease exceed 190,000.