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Donald Trump defends Covid response after Bob Woodward claims President knowingly played down virus

Telegraph, 10 Sep 2020
President Trump has defended his response to coronavirus after journalist Bob Woodward claims the President deliberately played down the danger of Covid-19 to the American people.

But the President says he did not "want people to be frightened" or "create panic over the virus.

In a newly published book, Bob Woodward reveals Donald Trump knew as early as the start of February that coronavirus was "deadly" and worse that the flu.

The US president said in an interview with Mr Woodward on February 7 that Covid-19 was “more deadly than even your strenuous flu”, according to audio released on Wednesday ahead of the book’s publication.

Mr Trump was also warned in January by his top national security adviser that coronavirus would be “the biggest national security threat” of his presidency, according to excerpts of the book, called Rage and reported on by The Washington Post and CNN.

Both remarks were made more than a month before the Trump administration would eventually declare a national emergency over Covid-19 and institute a high-profile campaign urging Americans to “stop the spread” of the virus in 15 days.

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