Trump admitted to Woodward he downplayed coronavirus threat in early days of outbreak – Includes White House Response

Not rated: Multiple sources

President Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in March that he publicly downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus as it silently spread around the world, hoping to avoid a panic even as he recognized how “Deadly” the virus could be.

In an interview with Woodward on February 7, Mr. Trump said he had recently spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the virus, calling it a “Tricky situation.” The president said the coronavirus was “More deadly” than “Even your strenuous flus,” and difficult to address because “It goes through air.”

Woodward reports in his book that National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned Mr. Trump in a January 28 briefing that the virus was the “Biggest national security threat you face in your presidency.” Mr. Trump later told Woodward that he did not remember O’Brien’s comment.

RESPONSES

“The president has always been clear-eyed with the American people,” McEnany said, claiming Mr. Trump “Never downplayed the virus.” (White House)

“I don’t recall anything different than in our discussions that we had with the President, that he said things quite similar, publicly,” Fauci said, adding that he hasn’t read the book. (Fox News Interview)

More to follow…

Primary Story @ CBS News

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