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Donald Trump accepts de-emphasizing Covid-19 danger to prevent global ‘frenzy’

By Suvan Bose

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump acknowledged that he had deemphasized the Covid-19 outbreak, defending and repeating an affirmation that he first made in American journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book Rage. Trump said that he wanted to prevent the United States and the world from going into a “frenzy”.

Speaking to reporters just hours following the contents of the book were made public, based on recordings from Trump’s on-record interviews with Woodward, the US president claimed that he had shown leadership by trying to keep things in peace and that his administration had done an “incredible job” with the coronavirus pandemic.

Also in the book, President Trump speaks about an earlier undisclosed nuclear weapons system, berates top generals, he states that he likes calling his predecessor by his first two names “Barack Hussein”, and gushes about his meetings and relationship with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

For the November 3 US election, Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, lambasted Trump’s acknowledgement in Woodward’s book. “He knew and he purposefully downplayed it,” said by Biden at an election event in Michigan, a battleground state. Worse, he lied to the American people. He willingly and knowingly lied about the danger it posed to our nation.

Trump said to Woodward that he knew exactly how serious the danger from the virus was, and back on February 7, he said in an interview, “This is deadly stuff”. In public remarks though, Trump deemphasized the crisis, depicting it as a passing threat to isolate his re-election chances.

Public health experts have endorsed a more translucent approach, arguing Americans have a right to know the facts to be able to deal with them. The US president is battling escalating criticism of his administration’s reaction to the pandemic that has killed approximately 190,000 Americans, infected more than 6 million, disabled the economy interpreting millions jobless and left the US isolated in the global search for a determination.

Woodward’s book has cast new light on Trump’s reaction, or the dearth of it, and his confused approach to the worst health crisis distressing the country in more than 100 years.

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