President Donald Trump knew since the end of January that the coronavirus it was “deadly” and easily transmitted by air, but said he “always minimized” covid-19 on purpose to avoid “panic” in the United States.
Who made the revelation was himself Trump in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, who reports the conversation with the president in his new book “Rage” (Fúria, in English). Woodward is one of two journalists who revealed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, in a historic scoop in The Washington Post. The other journalist is Carl Bernstein.
It is the first time that Trump he admits he knew of the severity of coronavirus long before he decided to face the pandemic more harshly, which would only happen in mid-March. Deep down, he confesses that he lied to American public opinion.
In the book, Woodward reveals that Robert O’Brien, his national security adviser, warned Trump on January 28 about the coronavirus pandemic severity at a top secret intelligence service meeting in the White House Oval Office: “This will be the biggest national security threat you will face in your presidency. (…) This will be the most difficult thing you will face “.
Ten days after the meeting with O’Brien, Trump he spoke by phone with Woodward and admitted that the health crisis was much more serious than the way he approached it publicly. “You just breathe and then you get [o vírus]. It is very complicated. Too delicate. It is also more deadly than a the flu strong. (…) This thing [o coronavírus] is deadly “, said Trump on February 7.
At that time and in many pronouncements later, the American president compared covid-19 to the common flu. He sought to lessen the seriousness of the situation, even predicting on February 27 that the virus “miraculously” would disappear when the heat came in the spring and summer. And it only acted incisively for a few weeks between mid-March and mid-April, when Trump began to pressure governors to reopen the economy in the states.
The disclosure of Woodward’s book is expected to cause severe electoral damage to Trump in the final stretch of the presidential campaign. Certainly, the entire strategy of the president to say that he acted correctly in relation to the pandemic falls to the ground. Evidence of his incompetence and neglect came out of his own mouth. He himself said that he always wanted to minimize the most serious health crisis on the planet in a century.
The spokeswoman for TrumpKayleigh Mcenany responded to the book’s revelations in an early afternoon address. She said that Trump made it clear in the comments he made to Woodward that he always sought to “avoid chaos” and that he said the government was taking effective measures against covid-19.
But Democrat Joe Biden won a political gift less than two months from the November 3 elections. Trump admitted that he lied to Americans when fighting the pandemic.