U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on judicial appointments throughout a quick look within the Diplomatic Room on the White Home in Washington, September 9, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that he had downplayed the specter of the coronavirus, claiming he “up-played” the hazard of the illness by his actions – regardless of privately admitting months earlier that “I wished to at all times play it down.”
Trump, talking at an ABC Information city corridor occasion with voters in Philadelphia, mentioned his strikes early on within the Covid-19 disaster saved lives and demonstrated “motion, not with the mouth however in precise truth.”
The president’s assertion that “in some ways I up-played it by way of motion” got here lower than per week after the discharge of audio from an interview with veteran journalist Bob Woodward, by which Trump mentioned of the coronavirus: “I wished to at all times play it down … I nonetheless like taking part in it down, as a result of I do not wish to create a panic.”
That clip was recorded in mid-March, greater than a month after Trump reportedly instructed Woodward that he understood the virus was “extra lethal than even your strenuous flu.”
Trump’s advisors, Woodward reported in his new guide “Rage,” had warned him in late January that the coronavirus “would be the largest nationwide safety menace you face in your presidency.”
Within the city corridor occasion Tuesday night, Trump was requested by a pupil, “If you happen to imagine it is the president’s accountability to guard America, why would you downplay a pandemic that’s identified to disproportionately hurt low earnings households and minority communities?”
The president responded, “Yeah, nicely I did not downplay it. I really, in some ways I up-played it by way of motion.”
The scholar appeared to reference the president’s recorded feedback with Woodward as she started a follow-up query: “Did you not admit to it your self, saying that you simply…”
However Trump reduce her off. “What I did was, with China I put a ban on. With Europe I put a ban on. And we might’ve misplaced hundreds of extra individuals had I not put the ban on,” he mentioned.
“In order that was referred to as motion, not with the mouth however in precise truth, we did a really, excellent job after we put that ban on. Whether or not you name it expertise or luck, it was essential. So we saved quite a lot of lives after we did that.”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who hosted the city corridor, mentioned, “There have been holes within the ban, and the European ban did not come for an additional month.”
The president replied, “Properly, they had been People, I imply the holes in had been if in case you have someone in China that is an American citizen, we needed to allow them to in.”
A number of fact-checks of Trump’s declare that he imposed a “ban” on China observe that hundreds of international nationals had continued to return into the U.S. within the months after the coverage took impact in early February.
The Related Press in July famous that “greater than 27,000 People returned from mainland China within the first month after the restrictions took impact.”
ABC’s 90-minute city corridor, hosted on the Nationwide Structure Heart in Philadelphia in accordance with Pennsylvania’s social distancing guidelines, comes simply seven weeks earlier than the presidential election between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. It was set to air at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday.