Trump says 'maybe' he misled people over coronavirus to reduce panic

President Trump admitted on Wednesday that he had dealt with the novel coronavirus earlier this year, arguing that he wanted to "reduce panic" about the disease by publicly minimizing its risk. Are

Trump says 'maybe' he misled people over coronavirus to reduce panic

Trump's comments came as journalists faced a new scrutiny of dealing with the epidemic after the release of an audio recording of his interview with Bob Woodward for a new journalist's book.

In the recording, the president privately acknowledged that COVID-19 was "deadly" in early February, yet dismissed general concerns about the virus at the time.

"If you said reduce panic, that's probably it," Trump said Wednesday afternoon when asked if he reduced the virus or misled the public to avoid panic.

"The fact is, I'm in a good mood for this country. I love my country," Trump continued. "I don't want people to be scared. I don't want to create panic, as you say, and I certainly won't drive this country or the world into a frenzy."

"We want to show confidence," he added. We want to show strength. We as a nation want to show strength.

Trump did not counter the idea that his efforts to reduce the risk of the virus were part of a deliberate strategy.

"We don't have to be intimidated. We won't be intimidated, and that's what I did," he said. "And I was very open, whether it's Woodward or someone else. It's just another political hit - but it was Woodward or someone else, you can't show a sense of panic or you're bigger than ever." Have to be

The remarks mark Trump's first reaction to the uproar over his comments about Woodward over the next week in the journalist's forthcoming book, Rage. Audio recordings of Woodward's interview with Trump were released’ early Wednesday. Among them, Trump tells Woodward that he "always wants to play down [the virus]" to avoid creating panic.

But the president was privately aware of the dangers of the virus as early as February, before it became widespread in the United States.

"It goes through the air," Trump said of Code 19 on February 7, according to an audio broadcast by CNN. "It's always harder to touch. You don't have to touch things. Okay? But wind, you just breathe air, and that's how it passed. And so it's a very difficult thing. "It's very delicate. That's it. More deadly than your severe pollution."

Publicly, Trump repeatedly reduced the risk of the virus. They diagnosed it with the common flu in February, and predicted that the virus would disappear in April when the weather warmed up. He has argued on several occasions that the virus is "disappearing", and even scientists say it will not be eradicated’ without a wide range of vaccines.

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