Trump admitted downplaying coronavirus dangers in early days of pandemic, new Bob Woodward book says

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President Donald Trump announces opioid response grants to state governments in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, September 4, 2019.Erin Scott | ReutersPresident Donald Trump admitted that he wanted to publicly downplay the threat of the coronavirus even as his advisors warned him about the dangers of the disease, Bob Woodward wrote in his forthcoming book about the Trump administration, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.”I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward in mid-March, CNN reported. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” CNN, which also published audio of Woodward’s March 19 interview with the president, reported Woodward writing that Trump had been informed weeks before Covid-19 claimed its first lives in the U.S. that the virus was dangerous and highly contagious.Less than three weeks before that interview reportedly took place, Trump had assured that the virus would “disappear.””One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Trump said in public remarks on Feb. 28.But the president had already been told in late January by national security advisor Robert O’Brien that the coronavirus “will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” Woodward wrote in the book, …

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