Book: Trump Said Of Virus, ‘I Wanted To Always Play It Down’

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President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat even as he was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call with Woodward. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.

Trump told Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said.

The Washington Post, where Woodward serves as associate editor, reported excerpts of the book, “Rage” on Wednesday, as did CNN. The book also covers race relations, diplomacy with North Korea and a range of other issues that have arisen during the past two years.

The book is based in part on 18 interviews that Woodward conducted with Trump between December and July.

“Trump never did seem willing to fully mobilize the federal government and continually seemed to push problems off on the states,” Woodward writes. “There was no real management theory of the case or how to organize a massive enterprise to deal with one of the most complex emergencies the United States had ever faced.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president’s words to the public were designed to express confidence and calm at a time of insurmountable challenges.

“The president has never lied to the American public on COVID. The president was expressing calm and his actions reflect that,” McEnany said.

McEnany took questions about the book during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday. She said his actions reflect that he took COVID-19 seriously.

(AP)




16 COMMENTS

  1. After hearing the tapes of the Trump interview with Woodward it’s clear that Trump blatantly lied and deceived the American people causing the deaths of many thousands. Press Secretary McEnamy has denied the Trump statements but they are on tape. The man is unfit for office and must be removed.

  2. To all big lie super spreaders on this forum:
    “I didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything. In my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had.”
    “President Trump did not distort anything and acted immediately when he was presented the data.”
    Dr. Fauci on Fox New 09/09/2020

  3. [To replace previous submission]
    New York City Officials Initially Downplayed Coronavirus Threat
    “In the days and weeks before New York City implemented a virtual shutdown in early March, city officials urged their constituents to go about their daily lives without fear — and even suggested that concerns about the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic were rooted in anti-Chinese animus.”

    @yaakov doe: The choice is a flawed President Trump vs. a senile puppet of a party controlled by those who openly support, enable and incite terrorists, thugs and rank degenerates of all types. To expect virtue or moral character from a politician is a fool’s game. One must live within reality (or be crushed by it, Hashem yishmoreinu).

  4. What nonsense. He said this publicly on Mar 30. He didn’t want to create a panic. Was that wrong?! He did everything he should have done, and he also spoke words of encouragement. Isn’t that exactly what he was supposed to do?

  5. Trump did very well trying to calm us from over panicking which as everyone knows is more dangerious than the virus itself.
    Besides that no one died because of Trump. Only stupid people with no knowledge about this virus say that. Many many people died because of Coumo and other democrats but nobody at all died because of Trump. Do your homework. And who was the first to close our border to China? And what did stupid pelosi say then? Do you know anybody who died because of Trump? Can you name them? What blind stupitidy?

  6. Dr fauci is talking about his private discussions with Trump not Trump’s public comments to the public. Trump told woodward in feb. how dangerous the virus was, purim was in march all the yidden that got corona in march may have altered their plan had they known. Cuomo is not the President and It is a lie that china was completely shutdown from coming into US, THE VIRUS WAS ALREADY HERE FROM EUROPE. NY was One of the first states and federal govt. under Trump did nothing to help them prepare. Remember Jared said blue states don’t matter, tey can campaign on the blue states failures. You can’t say cuomo failed but Trump didn’t. TRUMP continued to disparage masks wearers and has now cancelled his Nevada rallies because of his crimes against this country and all the lost souls.
    His entire campaign is to make people scared. He was worried about the stock market which is only up now because of what the federal reserve is doing. Interests on bonds is negative where should people put their money? Trump is calling woodward’s book a political hit job, he spoke to him 18 times, he called him at his home, his ego thought he can fool Woodward like he fools all of you. Trump claims victimhood at some point justice will come knocking on his door.

  7. A message from the President that doesn’t want to Panic people.

    The Democrats never even mentioned the words LAW & ORDER at their National Convention. That’s where they are coming from. If I don’t win, America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, “Friendly Protesters”.

  8. AO, how much you got paid from DNC and Soros for spreading lies and disinformation propaganda on this site? Or you are just trolling here for free?

  9. AO
    All Yiden were warned before Purim about the danger of the virus. Unfortunately most with the exception of the Stoliner Rebbe shlita and a few others including the Yiden and Rabbonim of Passaic NJ, didn’t take it seriously. Nothing to do with Trump or anybody. Yes Cuomo is responsible for the killing of many senior citizens. Afterwards. Whatever the shutdown of China had pelosi in a rage and definitely saved many lives.
    Take away your blind hatred for a moment to think. And it is the job of local officials to take care before the Feds step in. Look at the riots and what the local Mayors And Gov are saying. mind your own business. All of a sudden!

  10. Also dear AO
    You obviously choose to overlook and forget the fact that President Trump begged that everyone take the 2 meds and 1 vitamin that Dr Zelenko may he be well, and others, were advising to take and many many lives were saved as we frum Yiden know and saw with our own eyes. While at the same time DEMOCRATIC “Riotzchim” were for there own benefit “NEBACH” fighting that. FOR THE PURE SAKE OF HATE!! KNOWN AS SINAS CHINOM!! As we go in to selichos, dear ao, please try to think a little and be EMES. MAY HASHEM GRANT US ALL CHESDED SHEL EMES ON THIS WORLD WITH NACHAS!

  11. I disagree with you regarding Dr. zelenko’s treatment, all the stories are anecdotal not scientific. People bodies are different and fight infections differently. i do wish him a refuah shleimah. But i do agree with you that may hashem grant us all chesed shel emes on this world with nachas. Pelosi went to china town to combat the xenophobia that Trump was promoting. Trump politicized social distancing and mask wearing, he Had Numerous rallies, that caused a shortage of secret service agents because they were all falling sick because of him. They have families. George bush 41 used to stay in Washington over the major holidays so the agents can be with families. Please Spare me. i don’t say coumo is innocent vote him out when it his turn. I say Trump had no plan and still has no plan, and contrary to what Trump is propagating about Fauci, fauci did want to stop travel. He politicizes apolitical agencies like the CDC and FDA to stay on his message instead of respecting the science. Trump called corona a hoax at rallies. it is going to disapear.. there are multiple videos of it… there are videos of fox news constantly propagating how it is like a cold, rush limbaugh did the same virus like a common cold, and Some sick Trump supporters went on fox said elderly should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the economy…
    We are still learning the long term effects of this disease.. Trump wants the college teams to play sports but many of the athletes have myocarditis because of covid…there should be some empathy for the covid victims. Fox news never talks about them it doesn’t fit their narratives MSNBC and CNN Do, it allows families to heal. A life well lived. it is only now that Jewish circulars are writing about the lives lost.. It is not about just the leaders in community the average person who lived an honest life. It is very sad to me. People go back to their daily lives and the families re left picking up the pieces and tying to move on,,,

    Michael gerson a conservative republican stated “Denying Americans crucial information at the start of a pandemic — when the eventual extent of that pandemic could be dramatically curtailed by concerted action — is outrageous, heartless, reckless negligence.”

    Police are sitting on their hands regarding the riots and they are being overblown by fox news. Look up the crime rate under guiliani, the numbers, it is a false narrative… prior to corona the blue states had Some of the lowest historical crime rates.. there is an exodus to the suburbs because people are working at home, property owners are suffering greatly and it didn’t have to be.. If google tells its workers to stay home that means all te small stores around their office suffers.
    i disagree with you about all yidden were warned and knew about how dangerous it was. people were having large purim parties, not social distancing. When I warned people they told me its just politics because that was Trump’s message.
    When Trump won in 2016 i accepted that it what is what HASHEM WANTED AND WHOMEVER WINS IN 2020 will be because Hashem willed it. I will make my choices just as you will. The country is literally on fire, and everybody should do a chesbon hanefesh and what type of people they are embracing and the consequences it has on the community. But for people to not think that what has been going on these past years is not a sign to do personal reflection on what kind of midos we choose to ignore in our leaders, and worse to defend it….
    White Nationalist and qanon are a great threat to klal yistoel yet intelligent analys are told to not report it and focus on Antifa and black people… this is wrong and dangerous…and it shouldn’t be about what party you belong to…True patriots from both parties are uniting to protect the country from the criminal enterprise tat has taken over. Watchdogs are being fired…We have constitution and we must honor and respect it. Equal rights for people whether you like their way of life or not… tat is rule of law.
    The day leiby kletzky was buried there was a double Rainbow over the entire central Park it has always stayed with me, the fires that have decimated jewish homes, and all the lives lost from covid should give people pause. This is not about democrats and republicans there are bad politicians on both sides… have a shanah tova….