Donald Trump falsely claims he didn’t downplay coronavirus pandemic

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Donald Trump

The president admitted to downplaying the virus in interviews with investigative journalist Bob Woodward

Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn at the White House.
Photograph: Yuri Gripas/EPA

Donald Trump falsely claimed he did not downplay the coronavirus pandemic at a town hall Tuesday night, saying, “Actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action.”
His remarks came in response to an uncommitted voter at the ABC News event, who asked Trump why he would “downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities”. The president said he did not minimize the threat of the virus: “My action was very strong. I’m not looking to be dishonest. I don’t want people to panic.”
Trump’s misleading response comes one week after the investigative journalist, Bob Woodward, revealed that the president explicitly admitted to downplaying the virus in interviews with him. Woodward has reported that, although Trump’s national security adviser gave him a “jarring” warning in January about the virus, calling it the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency, Trump continued to understate the risks in public statements.

On 27 February, Trump said publicly: “It’s …

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