In new audio from Bob Woodward that was obtained by CNN, Donald Trump privately called the coronavirus a “killer” just three days after he told the American public that it would soon be “in full retreat.”
“This thing is a killer if it gets you,” the president said on April 13, showing a pretty clear understanding that the virus was a growing, deadly threat. “It is the plague.”
New Woodward audio from April 13 via CNN:
TRUMP: This thing is a killer if it gets you. If you’re the wrong person, you don’t have a chance.
WOODWARD: Yes, yes, exactly.
TRUMP: So this rips you apart.
WOODWARD: This is a scourge. And–
TRUMP: It is the plague.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 15, 2020
But three days before he sounded the alarm to Woodward, Trump was on Twitter saying the coronavirus “will soon be in full retreat.”
Nothing to see here, America.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 15, 2020
Four days after Trump agreed with Woodward that the virus was a “scourge,” Trump took to Twitter to demand states be “liberated” from stay-at-home orders.
Four days after Trump told Woodward the coronavirus was “a scourge” and “the plague,” he watched a Fox News segment on anti-social distancing protests and responded by tweeting to “LIBERATE” three states. pic.twitter.com/ufuIT0yGWo
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 15, 2020
This was about misleading – not calming – the American people
The latest revelation from Bob Woodward confirms what has already been made clear by the previous tapes: Donald Trump knew the virus was a serious threat, but he chose to lie about it publicly.
The idea that Trump was trying to calm the American people is simply absurd. This a man, after all, who has built his entire political career on stoking fear and division.
Dismissing the virus in public and urging states to throw open their doors in the middle of a pandemic was all about misleading the American public ahead of a tough reelection campaign.
Donald Trump didn’t care how many Americans died of the coronavirus so long as his reelection chances weren’t hurt.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.