Journalist Bob Woodward sat down with President Donald Trump on Feb. 7 to get an inside look at his last three years in the Oval Office for Woodward’s upcoming book “Rage.” It goes on sale Sept. 15 with some of Woodward’s 18 Trump interviews already released to the public.
In these interviews, Trump discussed COVID-19 and compared it to the flu, when his official position at the time was that the coronavirus was nothing to worry about.
“We have it very much under control in this country,” Trump said to reporters on Feb. 24.
Trump later said on Feb. 27 at a White House meeting, “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”
Behind closed doors, however, Trump expressed concerns over the developing virus.
“It’s also more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus. You know, people don’t realize, we lose 25,000, 30,000 people a year here,” Trump said in the February interview with Woodward. “This is more deadly. This is 5 per-, you know, this is 5 percent versus 1 percent and less than 1 percent. You know? So, this is deadly stuff.”
In February, the U.S. already had 12 cases in six different states, according to NBC News. Trump could have easily called for governors to shut down states and convey the severity of the issue well before it had gotten this far, yet he refused to do so. On Feb. 10 — a few days after the Woodward interview — Trump downplayed his concerns regarding coronavirus at a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
“Generally speaking, the heat kills this kind of virus,” he said.
On March 17, Trump asked that everyone work from home, for people not to gather in groups of more than 10 and to stop unnecessary travel. This made it seem as if COVID-19 was being taken more seriously, but this was not the case.
Not even two days after, Trump said in one of his interviews with Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
With this, he also made false promises of when the two-week peak would hit and when the virus would be gone. Rather than downplay and worry about a panicking populace, this should have been taken much more seriously.
With COVID-19 cases hitting 6.7 million in the U.S. and deaths rising to nearly 200,000, as of Sept. 13 according to live data from ncov2019.com, there is no doubt Trump’s delayed actions contributed significantly to the state of our nation today.
Trump needs to be held responsible for his blatant contradictions and jeopardizing the lives of so many Americans. Fortunately, this upcoming election can be your chance to vote for the right leadership.