Sept. 9, 2020 — President Donald Trump understood in early February, in advance of the 1st recognized U.S. loss of life from COVID-19, that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by means of the air and was deadlier than the seasonal flu.

“You just breathe the air and which is how it is passed,” he reported in a Feb. 7 phone with journalist Bob Woodward. “And so which is a quite tricky a single. That’s a quite sensitive a single. It is also additional fatal than even your intense flus.”

“This is fatal things,” he reported.

At the time, Trump was telling Us citizens that the U.S. was in minimal risk and that the outbreak would before long go absent on its individual.

Questioned about people statements in March, Trump reported he wanted to downplay the threat. “I wanted to constantly play it down,” Trump told Woodward. “I continue to like playing it down, simply because I never want to create a worry.”

In the same interview, he went on to accept the gravity of the threat experiencing even young grown ups. “Just right now and yesterday, some startling points arrived out. It is really not just old, more mature. Young individuals way too, loads of young individuals,” Trump reported.

These admissions by the president are element of collection of eighteen taped, on-the-report interviews with Woodward, who rose to fame for his role in exposing the Watergate scandal. Portions of people tapes aired right now on CNN and on the site of The  Washington Write-up. In addition to the tapes, the information outlets also gained progress copies of Woodward’s new reserve about the president, Rage, which will strike retail store shelves upcoming week.

In a CNN report on the interview, Woodward says he envisioned the president to converse about impeachment, considering that he experienced just been acquitted by the Senate. Woodward says he was shocked when Trump’s emphasis was on the virus.

The U.S. bears the grim distinction of major the planet in COVID-19 situations and deaths. So considerably, the coronavirus has contaminated six.3 million Us citizens and killed additional than 190,000. When compared to other wealthy nations, the U.S. has fared improperly, battling to come up with methods to contain the virus.

The financial system crashed in the wake of the nationwide response, leaving additional than 14 million Us citizens without having employment and pushing the unemployment level to a higher of 14%, a single of the worst recorded in the contemporary period.

In a information conference from the White Home soon after the tapes were launched, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany explained that president’s remarks this way: “At a time when you’re experiencing insurmountable difficulties, it is significant to specific quiet.” When pressed by a reporter, she denied that the president experienced misled Us citizens about the threat from the virus. “This president does what leaders do. Superior leaders. It is stay quiet and resolute when you confront an insurmountable challenge.”

In accordance to actuality-examining by The Washington Write-up, the president reported that the virus will go absent on its individual 31 instances in the 1st 3 months of the year.

William Hanage, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Middle for Communicable Sickness Dynamics at Harvard’s T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Overall health, says the president’s wish not to result in worry is easy to understand and a main tenet of community wellness. But he says Trump went about it the mistaken way.

“It was not stunning that he understood. What is stunning is that rather than get all set and prepare individuals for the crisis ahead, he experimented with to deny it,” he says.

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.