US President Trump admitted in an interview that he did not take the corona pandemic seriously and that he deliberately downplayed it in public. There was probably a reason for this.
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In his own words, US President Donald Trump deliberately downplayed the coronavirus risk so as not to cause panic. At the same time, interviews with journalist Bob Woodward published Wednesday show that Trump was told in early February that the virus is on the air and has a higher death rate than the flu. During this time, Trump publicly referred to the low number of cases in the US and repeatedly claimed that the virus would go away on its own.
In the United States, more than 190,000 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus – partly because they did not take expert warnings and precautions such as masks seriously. Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in an initial response, “The president has never lied to the American public about Covid.” But it kept the population calm.
Trump did not want to “panic”
The broadcaster CNN recently released excerpts from the recorded Trump interviews that Woodward had conducted for an upcoming book. You can hear Trump say on March 19, “I’ve always wanted to downplay it. I still like to downplay it because I don’t want to panic.”
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In an interview on Feb. 7, Trump said, according to the recordings, “This is deadly stuff.” People don’t have to touch contact surfaces to get infected: “You just breathe in air and that’s how it’s transferred.”
Biden on Trump’s behavior: “Nearly criminal”
Meanwhile, Trump’s White House challenger Joe Biden attacked the president sharply, accusing him of “near-criminal” behavior. Biden told CNN in a pre-published interview on Wednesday night (local time) that Trump’s behavior was “disgusting.” Although the president was aware of the real danger of the virus, he did not put on a mask himself. “It’s almost criminal.”
Biden said, referring to Trump’s behavior, “It was about making sure the stock market doesn’t go down, his wealthy friends don’t lose money.” Biden has not provided any evidence. He went on to say that Trump was indulging in the virus. “He hasn’t done anything.” The president’s behavior is the reason “why we don’t trust his leadership.”
Trump again defended his behavior on Fox News on Wednesday evening, saying he did not want to cause panic. “I’m a cheerleader for this country and I don’t want to panic,” said the president. He stressed that he had issued an early entry ban on travelers from China and the EU, which had saved many lives. Trump praised his administration’s crisis management. “We’ve done a fantastic job.”