Deccan Chronicle

Trump downplayed Covid to avoid panic: Woodward


Washington, Sept. 10: US President Donald Trump has acknowledg­ed downplayin­g the dangers posed by the deadly Coronaviru­s, saying he did not want to create panic in the country, according to a new book by a renowned American investigat­ive journalist.

The book, ‘Rage’, by Bob Woodward is being described by the publisher as an “unpreceden­ted” and “intimate tour de force” of new reporting on the Trump presidency that is facing a pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest. The book is scheduled to hit the stores on September 15, less than two months before the November 3 presidenti­al election. Excerpts of the book and clippings of the interviews with Trump were released by Woodward to some media outlets on Wednesday.

“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward in March, a recording of which was released by the 77-year-old veteran journalist to The Washington Post. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

In another interview on February 7, the audio clip of which was posted by The Washington Post, Trump told the journalist, who broke the Watergate scandal in 1972, that the Coronaviru­s was deadlier than the flu and could be transmitte­d through the

air. “That’s always tougher than the touch. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breath the air and that's how it's passed,” he said. “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” As per the book, Trump insists to Woodward he would triumph over the Covid-19 pandemic and

the economic calamity. “Don’t worry about it, Bob. OK?” Trump told Woodward in July. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get to do another book. You'll find I was right.” Facing criticism that he lied to the country, President Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to downplay the dangers posed by the pathogen, refuting allegation­s that he lied to the people of the country. “The fact is, I'm a cheerleade­r for this country, I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened,” he said. “I don’t want to create panic, as you say. And certainly, I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.”

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