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Daily Archives: September 10th, 2020


So the Pinocchio team continues to grow. MA

Brett Samuels  3 hrs ago

Pence denies Trump’s downplaying hampered COVID-19 response

Vice President Pence on Thursday denied that the country’s response to the coronavirus was in any way hampered by President Trump repeatedly downplaying the threat from the deadly disease.Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie: Pence denies Trump's downplaying hampered COVID-19 response© Getty Images Pence denies Trump’s downplaying hampered COVID-19 response

“Absolutely not,” Pence said on Fox News when asked if Trump’s public dismissiveness of the virus limited the ability of the U.S. to contain the pandemic.

“His tone was one of projecting calm and confidence,” Pence said. “But I heard him at that podium, I heard him at every setting. We gave the American people the facts.”

The remarks come as the White House grapples with the fallout of audio recordings of the president privately acknowledging the threat of COVID-19 as he publicly downplayed it. The recordings were part of numerous interviews Trump gave to veteran journalist Bob Woodward for an upcoming book.

Pence on Thursday framed Trump as a decisive leader during the pandemic and echoed the president’s own rationale that he did not want to incite panic by portraying the virus as a serious and imminent threat to American lives.

The vice president repeatedly praised Trump for his “historic” decision to bar some incoming travel from China in late January, though he at one point mischaracterized it as suspending all travel.

“I literally believe that the president’s decision to suspend China, the largest mobilization since World War II, and asking the American people to shut down our economy for 45 days to slow the spread to save lives is exactly the kind of presidential leadership that the American people hope for and pray for in times like this,” Pence said.

Pence was tapped in late February to lead the White House coronavirus task force, and he acknowledged to Fox that he was in the Oval Office a month earlier when national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Trump that the emerging coronavirus outbreak would be the most difficult national security challenge of his presidency.

The first excerpts of Woodward’s book, “Rage,” were released Tuesday, along with audio recordings of Trump’s interviews with the author.

In one such recording, Trump said in early February that the virus was “deadly” and could spread through the air. But Trump spent weeks comparing it to the common flu and insisting that it would go away.

The president’s remarks to the Watergate journalist underscored how Trump privately talked about the severity of COVID-19, even as he brushed it off in public remarks in January and February.

“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward in a recording from mid-March.

The president on Wednesday acknowledged that “perhaps” he misled the American public about the severity of the virus in order to reduce panic.

The U.S. has had the highest reported number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 of any country in the world, and the economy is still climbing out of a recession caused by the outbreak. Majorities of Americans have said in public polling that they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic and do not trust information he provides about the virus.

Pence on Thursday did not directly respond when asked whether it was a good idea for Trump to participate in extensive interviews with Woodward for the book.

“I ran into Bob Woodward, I think, once in the White House,” Pence said. “I wasn’t aware of the number of times the president spoke to him.”

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more accessible president of the United States than President Donald Trump,” he added.

Brett Samuels  3 hrs ago


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Trump knew virus danger, but lied anyway









 

 
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By Holly Thomas
 



Thursday, September 10


CONFESSION ON TAPE: TRUMP DOWNPLAYED DEADLY THREAT President Donald Trump knew in early February that the coronavirus was “deadly stuff” and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” according to journalist Bob Woodward’s new book “Rage.” But Trump decided to mislead the public anyway, deliberately downplaying the threat and claiming it would go away. Trump defended his behavior in a news conference and in a Fox News interview Wednesday, saying he didn’t want to cause panic. Joe Biden, meanwhile, chastised the president for having “willingly lied” to the American people. [HuffPost]


WOODWARD DEFENDS SITTING ON TAPES FOR MONTHS Bob Woodward, facing widespread criticism for only now revealing Trump’s early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus, said he needed time to be sure that Trump’s private comments from February were accurate. “He tells me this, and I’m thinking … Trump says things that don’t check out, right?” Woodward told the AP. Using a famous phrase from the Watergate era, when Woodward’s reporting for the Post helped lead to President Richard Nixon’s resignation, Woodward said his mission was to determine, “What did he know and when did he know it?” [AP]


REPUBLICANS STILL DEFEND TRUMP AFTER CORONAVIRUS CONFESSION Republican lawmakers defended Trump after the revelation that he knowingly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, which has resulted in millions of job losses and the deaths of 190,000 Americans. “It doesn’t bother me,” Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota told reporters. “He’s a hopeful, upbeat, positive person.” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina argued that voters should take more heed of Trump’s actions than his rhetoric. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that “The president has never lied to the American public on COVID,” despite the new evidence that he literally did. [HuffPost]
 
 
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