‘I wanted to always play it down’
In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump admitted to knowing that COVID-19 was not just airborne and highly contagious, but also “deadly stuff.”
In striking contrast to saying the virus would “disappear,” on February 9, Trump told Woodward that it was perhaps five times “more deadly” than the flu.
On March 9, days after declaring a national emergency over the virus, the president tweeted that more Americans die of flu than coronavirus and that it was nothing to shutdown life and economy over.
On March 19, Trump explained what he was doing to Woodward: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Woodward even released tapes from the interviews to prove it all.
After admitting that the virus was a “tricky one” that “goes through the air”, Trump then went on to hold massive indoor rallies with no masks or social distancing protocols: Between February 10 and March 2, he held six rallies across Manchester, Arizona, Colorado Springs, Las Vegas Charleston, and Charlotte.
In another example of blatant sabotage, the Trump administration told immigration courts to take down bilingual coronavirus prevention posters. They reversed the order but not before people caught on to it.