Trump sought after to downplay ‘fatal’ virus, Woodward guide says

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President Donald Trump knew Covid-19 was once deadlier than the flu ahead of it hit the United States however sought after to minimize the disaster, consistent with a brand new guide.

Bob Woodward, the journalist who broke the Watergate scandal, interviewed Mr Trump 18 occasions from December to July.

Mr Trump advised him the virus was once “fatal stuff” ahead of the primary US dying was once showed, later including he sought after to “play it down” to steer clear of inflicting panic.

The president has in the past referred to as the guide a “faux”.

Mr Trump tweeted in August: “The Bob Woodward guide might be a FAKE, as at all times, simply as most of the others had been.”

He also referred to as the storied reporter a “social pretender”, “who by no means has anything else excellent to mention”.

On Wednesday, some US media launched portions of the interviews between the president and the journalist, revealing his reported remarks at the pandemic in addition to race and different problems.

Listed below are one of the key quotes up to now from Rage, which might be launched on 15 September.

At the virus

In interviews with Woodward, Mr Trump indicated that he knew extra concerning the severity of the sickness than he had stated publicly.

In step with a tape of the decision, Mr Trump advised Woodward in February that the coronavirus was once deadlier than the flu.

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Media captionThe misplaced six weeks when the United States did not keep watch over the virus

“That is 5 % as opposed to one % and no more than one %. You understand? So, that is fatal stuff.”

Later that month, Mr Trump promised the virus was once “very a lot beneath keep watch over”, and that the case depend would quickly be as regards to 0. He additionally implied the flu was once extra unhealthy than Covid-19.

Talking on Capitol Hill on 10 March, Mr Trump stated: “Simply keep calm. It is going to move away.”

9 days later, days after the White Space declared the pandemic a countrywide emergency, the president advised Woodward: “I sought after to at all times play it down. I nonetheless like enjoying it down, as a result of I do not wish to create a panic.”

  • From 2018: Woodward on Trump – the explosive quotes

Responding to newshounds’ questions at the guide on Wednesday, White Space press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated the president had at all times been “clear-eyed” concerning the disaster.

“The president by no means downplayed the virus, as soon as once more,” she stated.

“The president expressed calm. The president was once fascinated about this…and he was once taking early motion.”

On race

When Woodward introduced up the Black Lives Subject protests in a dialog on 19 June, suggesting that “white, privileged” folks like themselves should paintings to know the way black American citizens really feel.

“You truly drank the Kool-Help, did not you?” Mr Trump stated. “Simply pay attention to you.”

The national protests towards police brutality and racism had been sparked by means of George Floyd’s dying in Would possibly.

Mr Trump additionally repeated the advice that he had carried out extra for African-American citizens than any president except for Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery.

Later, on eight July, Mr Trump once more reiterated that he had “carried out an incredible quantity for the black neighborhood” however was once “now not feeling any love”.

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