President Trump instructed a voter he didn’t downplay the coronavirus within the early days of his administration’s Covid-19 response — although he’s been heard on tape saying he did — throughout an ABC Information city with undecided voters on Tuesday.
“When you consider it is the president’s duty to guard America, why would you downplay a pandemic that’s recognized to disproportionately hurt low-income households and minority communities,” a voter requested Trump.
Trump responded, “Yeah, properly I did not downplay it. I really, in some ways I up-played it by way of motion.” The voter appeared to attempt to comply with up and remind the president he acknowledged downplaying the specter of the coronavirus pandemic in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward earlier this yr.
The city corridor, hosted by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, is among the uncommon events Trump has sat down for questions with a information community apart from Fox Information. It is usually one of many few moments the president has needed to work together with undecided voters in a moderated setting.
Trump is in a bare-knuckled re-election battle towards former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, whereas his ballot numbers sagging as he continues to get low marks from voters for the way he dealt with the response to the virus.
Trump’s about-face on his administration’s coronavirus response comes as taped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward had been not too long ago launched by which the president acknowledged downplaying the risk, in line with an account of Woodward’s new e book.
“I needed to at all times play it down. I nonetheless like enjoying it down as a result of I do not wish to create a panic,” Trump mentioned in a March 19 name with Woodward, in line with an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Put up’s web site. The newspaper obtained a duplicate of the e book, “Rage,” which was launched this week.
In the identical interview, Trump additionally acknowledged that the illness was extra lethal than he publicly admitted.
“Now it is turning out it isn’t simply outdated folks, Bob. However simply right now, and yesterday, some startling details got here out. It is not simply outdated, older,” Trump mentioned, in line with an audio clip, after which added, “younger folks, too, loads of younger folks.”