Woodward book: Trump ‘wanted’ to play down COVID-19 despite severity

Woodward book on Trump: Wanted to play down COVID-19 despite severity

Bob Woodward is about to release a new book entitled “RAGE,” which centers President Donald Trump. Part of it entails how POTUS knew the severity of COVID-19, but “wanted to play it down.”

President Trump has already called out the Woodward book as “FAKE” in an August 15 tweet. The book entails 18 interviews, per CNNwhich were recorded with permission.

Other information came from “notes, emails, diaries and calendars” obtained by Woodward. This also includes 25 unseen personal letter exchanges between the POTUS and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, based on Axios‘ previous report.

News publications, including CNN, got a hold of some of those recorded interviews. A few relevant takeaways were Trump’s prior knowledge of the severity of COVID-19.

Woodward book tells Trump knew about COVID-19’s true threat

Accordingly, he knew how “deadly” the coronavirus was even before the United States recorded its very first COVID-19 death, based on Woodward’s book.

Trump has since been plagued with criticisms on how he handled the coronavirus pandemic in the country. As of this writing, the Worldometer records 194,862 deaths in total, with new 832 fatalities reported in just a day.

In February, according to BBCTrump told the public that the coronavirus was “very much under control.” Multiple news outlets have quoted him saying that the virus “will go away” and that it will “all work out fine.”

Yet in the recorded interview, Trump admitted knowing the severity of COVID-19, calling it “deadly stuff,” per the February 7 interview.

He dubbed it “five times ‘more deadly’ than the flu.”

However, BBC highlights that this contradicts his public statement, implying that the “flu was more dangerous” than the coronavirus.

Woodward book: Trump to ‘play it down’ to avoid panic

Furthermore, in a March 19 interview, Trump told Woodward that he “wanted to always play it down.” This statement came days after the president declared a national emergency because of the outbreak.

According to the Woodward book interview, his statement further reads:

 “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Per CNN, had Trump “acted decisively” as early as February, instead of playing the virus down, thousands of lives could have been saved, as experts believed.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany answered questions from the press regarding the content of the Woodward book. McEnany affirms that Trump “never downplayed the virus.”

She says:

“The president expressed calm. The president was serious about this…and he was taking early action.”

In the same March 19 interview, Trump admitted to knowing that the COVID-19 “not just affect old people” but the young ones as well. Yet last month, Trump repeated his alleged former “false claim” about young people being “virtually immune” to the virus, per Independent.

When further asked if he still believes such a claim, he says:

“For the most part, yeah, I think they do very well. They don’t catch it very easily … They don’t transport it or transfer it to other people, or certainly not very easily.”

Facebook and Twitter have since asked the Trump campaign to remove videos where the president claims that children are “virtually immune” to COVID-19, as it is false.


Featured image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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