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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Trump Knows Corona…No He Doesn’t

The presidential debate is now about a vaccine, but a book by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame reveals the President was misleading the American public as early as February

Trump Knows Corona…No He Doesn’t
Photograph by PTI
Trump Knows Corona…No He Doesn’t
outlookindia.com
2020-09-18T12:54:40+05:30

Public health officials were warning Americans about the need to prepare for coronavirus in early February, when President Donald Trump called it “deadly stuff” in a private conversation that has now come to light, reports the Associated Press. At the time, with just 11 cases confirmed in the US, there was uncertainty about how it would be affected, and top officials would deliver mixed messages. But their overall thrust was to take the thing seriously. “We’re preparing as if this is a pandemic,” Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on February 5. Trump, however, was playing down the threat in public. Three days after delivering his “deadly” assessment in a private call with journalist Bob Woodward, he told a New Hampshire rally on February 10, “It’s going to be fine.” Trump’s acknowledgment in Woodward’s new book, Rage, that he was minimising the severity of the virus in public to avoid causing panic has triggered waves of criticism that he wasn’t being honest.

The White House tries to counter that by pointing to select comments from US health experts to suggest they were on the same page with Trump. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany cited a February 17 interview in which Dr Anthony Fauci, US’ top infectious disease expert, focused his concern on the seasonal flu. But a day later, Fauci had spoken of alarming potential implications from the new virus. Mixed safety messages also added to confusion. There was indecision about mask-wearing in the early days, with experts advising against it. Officials later recommended that people wear face coverings in public.

People also could find different takeaways within Fauci’s pronouncements. He made a nuanced statement to the USA Today editorial board on February...

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