President Trump admitted to Bob Woodward that he downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus intending to avoid panic and chaos although he knew how dangerous it was.
During a nine-hour interview that took place on February 7 for the book ‘Rage’, the journalist Bob Woodward expressly talked with the president about his attitude towards the pandemic and now the audio clips of the recorded interviews were published by CNN and The Washington Post.
The audio shows how President Trump says “he had recently spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the virus, calling it a tricky situation.” Also confirmed that at the time he already knew the virus was deadly and difficult to address because it “goes through the air”.
After saying in the interview “This is deadly stuff” he showed up to a conference three days expressing: “A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat, as the heat comes in,” adding the U.S. is in “great shape.”
Back on March 19, Trump talked again with the same journalist confirming that he was downplaying the threat of the virus in public: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,”. Following this, the Trump administration was encouraging people not to wear a mask in public and pushing states to reopen their economies in the spring as he knew the virus will “go away” soon.
The former vice president said Mr. Trump “knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months.”. In the book, Woodward also documents how some Cabinet officials are frustrated with Trump’s leadership, for example, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he is “dangerous, unfit, and has no moral compass.”