‘I Don’t Want To Scare People’: Trump Again Defends Downplaying COVID-19

Written by on September 9, 2020

President Donald Trump as soon as once more defended his actions in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and mentioned he needed to point out People “calmness” and be a “cheerleader.”

Trump made the feedback in a prolonged interview with Fox Information host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, his newest effort to distance himself from revelations revealed in excerpts from “Rage,” the forthcoming guide by veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

In one among a collection of bombshell interviews with Woodward, Trump mentioned he knew in early February the coronavirus posed a deep risk to the nation and was “extra lethal than even your strenuous flus.”

“I need to present calmness, I’m the chief of this nation,” Trump instructed Hannity on Wednesday after the accounts have been revealed. “I don’t need to be leaping up and down, I don’t need to scare individuals. I need individuals to not panic. And that’s precisely what I did.”

Public well being consultants have, for months, been issuing stark warnings about the specter of the pandemic, urging the general public to put on masks and social distance even because the White Home urged giant swaths of the nation to reopen. Infections have continued to rise for months in some locations, and there’s ongoing concern concerning the fee of unfold at faculties and faculty campuses.

The president went on to defend his actions Wednesday and laid blame for the unfold of the coronavirus on China, touting his efforts to shut U.S. borders to many vacationers from China and Europe in the course of the early days of the pandemic (though there have been many exemptions to these bans).

“We’ve finished a very good job,” Trump mentioned on Fox Information. “Actually, it’s wonderful what we’ve finished. We’ve finished an unbelievable job.”

The feedback echo these he gave reporters on the White Home earlier within the day.

On the time of his interview with Woodward, the president was publicly downplaying the virus and saying it was no extra harmful than the flu. He has continued to champion the U.S. response and to position blame largely on China, even after COVID-19 has killed greater than 190,00zero individuals in the US.

“You simply breathe the air and that’s the way it’s handed,” Trump instructed Woodward in a Feb. 7 name, particulars of which have been revealed by CNN and The Washington Put up. “And in order that’s a really difficult one. That’s a really delicate one. It’s additionally extra lethal than even your strenuous flus.”

He went on: “I needed to at all times play it down. I nonetheless like enjoying it down, as a result of I don’t need to create a panic.”

Each the White Home and Trump’s GOP allies went on the defensive after particulars of the Woodward guide have been launched. White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany mentioned the president had “by no means lied to the American public on COVID” and “by no means downplayed the virus.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee hoping to unseat Trump in November, dismissed these claims.

“He knew how lethal it was. It was rather more lethal than the flu. He knew, and purposely performed it down,” Biden mentioned Wednesday. “Worse, he lied to the American individuals. He knowingly and willingly lied concerning the risk it posed to the nation for months.”


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