President Donald Trump has admitted to reducing the public’s real threat of Covid-19 for weeks, even though cities and states are closed and many Americans are getting sick, according to excerpts and audio recordings from an upcoming book by reporter Bob Woodward. Furious.
“I always want to play it,” Trump said on March 19. “I still want to play it down, because I don’t want to create panic.”
In several interviews with Woodward, Trump said he was aware of the novel coronavirus threat in January, and continued to lower the real risk posed by the disease in March, when the US epidemic began. (CNN publishes audio clips from interviews.)
On Feb. 7, Trump told Woodward, “This is a deadly thing.” He told Woodward it was five times as deadly as the flu. He acknowledged that the virus “passes through the air,” adding, “That is always tighter than pressing. You know, pressing, you don’t have to touch things, right? But the wind, you just breathe the air, and that is how it passes. ”
Later that month, Trump claimed publicly that the virus would disappear “like a miracle.” He also said that “you have 15 people [with the coronavirus], and 15 in a few days will drop to near zero. “In early March, he also publicly compared the coronavirus to the flu, arguing that Covid-19 did not kill as many people in the US as the common flu does.
On March 19, Trump acknowledged to Woodward that Covid-19 could reach young people as well as the elderly. That conversation was when he said he still wanted to reduce the threat.
Back then, it was very clear that the virus was a real threat to the US. Cases and deaths began to rise in this particular region of New York City. San Francisco is under lockdown. Trump makes a daily press release about the virus. The same day he told Woodward he was minimizing the crisis, he boasted about his administration controlling everything.
Later in March, Trump insisted to the public that the US would return to normal and reopen on Easter Sunday in April. “You’re going to pack churches across the country,” Trump said on March 24. “I think this is going to be a good time.”
Trump told Woodward that his intention was to avoid a panic. But experts say Trump’s response to the virus – particularly the mysterious thought that colored his comments to the public – caused an outbreak in America. That was reinforced by a public outcry and other leaders, promoting the fight against necessary public health measures against Covid-19 such as distance cleaning, testing, and masking.
Once the states started shutting down, Trump pushed them to open too early and too fast – to “LIBERATE” themselves from economic disaster. After his administration suggested that people wear masks in public, Trump claimed it was a personal choice, refused to wear masks himself, and said that people wear masks to scold him. He also hyped unproven and even dangerous treatment, at one point thinking about people injecting bleach to treat Covid-19. And he is slow to expand the U.S. trial capability, arguing that more trials have become bad in the US by revealing more cases; instead he punished the issue with local, state, and private artists not being combined for the whole work.
“It starts in many ways, and you could argue it ends in many ways, under Trump’s administration,” Ashish Jha, director of Harvard Global Health Institute, told me. “If George W. Bush became president, if John McCain became president, if Mitt Romney became president, it would look different.”
This continued, based on Woodward’s reporting and the president’s entry into audio recordings, after the Covid-19 threat was clear even to Trump.
The result: The US is doing seven times worse than the middle-developed country, ranked below 20 percent for Covid-19 deaths in rich countries. If America had the same death rate as Canada, 100,000 more Americans would probably be alive today.
However, Trump did not admit responsibility for all of this. In his last interview with Woodward in July, Trump said, “The virus has nothing to do with me. It is not my fault. … China has released the damn virus.”
Help keep Vox free for everyone
Millions turn to Vox every month to understand what is happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial analysis to what is, perhaps, the most likely presidential election in our lifetime. Our mission has never been more important than this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our unique brand of explanatory journalism takes resources – especially during a pandemic and a severe economy. Even when the economy and news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of maintaining our focus, and helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world. Contribute now from as little as $ 3.