The Daily Beast

Trump Admitted to Woodward That He Downplayed the Coronavirus. And There Are Tapes.

Pete Marovich

Weeks before eventually declaring a national emergency, President Donald Trump admitted to legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus that’s now killed 190,000 Americans was airborne, highly contagious, and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

And there are tapes of Trump making these on-record comments, including his admission that he “wanted to always play it down.”

The president, who minimized the virus for weeks before finally and belatedly acknowledging in mid-March that measures needed to be taken to combat it, told Woodward on Feb. 7 that “this is deadly stuff.” At the same time, Trump was publicly downplaying the danger of the virus, claiming repeatedly that it would just “go away” and “disappear,” a refrain he has held onto to this day.

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