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Trump knew virus danger, but lied anyway


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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