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Friday, October 2, 2020
World

Coronavirus: Trump denies downplaying severity of virus – #NewsEverything #World

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US President Donald Trump at ABC News' town hall event in Philadelphia. Photo: 15 September 2020Picture copyright
Reuters

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In an interview, President Trump stated he minimised the virus’s severity to keep away from panic

US President Donald Trump has denied downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19, regardless of admitting in a recorded interview to having carried out that.

At a televised occasion with voters, Mr Trump stated he had “up-played” it.

The declare contradicts feedback Mr Trump made to journalist Bob Woodward earlier this yr, when he stated he minimised the virus’s severity to keep away from panic.

Mr Trump additionally repeated on Tuesday {that a} vaccine might be prepared “inside weeks” regardless of scepticism from well being specialists.

No vaccine has but accomplished scientific trials, main some scientists to worry politics moderately than well being and security is driving the push for a vaccine earlier than the three November presidential elections.

  • Trump intentionally performed down virus, Woodward ebook says
  • Coronavirus: The week when every little thing modified for Trump

Greater than 195,000 individuals have died with Covid-19 within the US for the reason that starting of the pandemic, in accordance with knowledge collated by Johns Hopkins college.

In the meantime, the journal Scientific American on Tuesday endorsed a presidential candidate for the primary time in its 175-year historical past, backing Democrat Joe Biden for the White Home.

The journal stated Mr Trump “rejects proof and science” and described his response to the coronavirus pandemic as “dishonest and inept”.

What did Trump say?

At Tuesday’s city corridor assembly held by ABC Information in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr Trump was requested why he would “downplay a pandemic that’s recognized to disproportionately hurt low-income households and minority communities”.

Mr Trump responded: “Yeah, properly, I did not downplay it. I truly, in some ways, I up-played it, when it comes to motion.”

“My motion was very robust,” he stated, citing a ban imposed on individuals travelling from China and Europe earlier this yr.

“We might have misplaced 1000’s of extra individuals had I not put the ban on. We saved lots of lives after we did that,” Mr Trump stated.

The US ban on overseas travellers who have been just lately in China got here into power in early February, whereas a ban on travellers from European international locations was launched the next month.

However Mr Trump has been accused of being sluggish implementing measures to curtail the virus.

One epidemiologist informed the New York Occasions in February that curbing journey to and from China was extra of an emotional or political response.

“The cow’s already out of the barn and we’re now speaking about shutting the barn door,” Dr Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Middle for Infectious Illness Analysis and Coverage on the College of Minnesota, informed the newspaper.

In its assertion on Tuesday, Scientific American stated regardless of warnings in January and February, Mr Trump “didn’t develop a nationwide technique to offer protecting gear, coronavirus testing or clear well being tips.”

What did he inform Woodward?

Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal in 1972 and is among the US’s most revered journalists, interviewed Mr Trump 18 occasions from December to July.

In February, Mr Trump indicated in an interview with Woodward that he knew extra concerning the severity of the sickness than he had stated publicly.

In keeping with a recording of the decision, the president stated coronavirus was deadlier than the flu.

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Media captionHow Trump’s angle towards coronavirus shifted between March and April

“It goes via the air,” Mr Trump is heard saying on the tape. “That is at all times more durable than the contact. You do not have to the touch issues. Proper? However the air, you simply breathe the air and that is the way it’s handed.

“And in order that’s a really tough one. That is a really delicate one.”

Later that month, Mr Trump stated that the virus was “very a lot beneath management”, and that the case rely would quickly be near zero. He additionally publicly implied the flu was extra harmful than Covid-19.

Talking on Capitol Hill on 10 March, Mr Trump stated: “Simply keep calm. It is going to go away.”

9 days later, after the White Home declared the pandemic a nationwide emergency, the president informed Woodward: “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.”

What else did Trump say in Philadelphia?

Mr Trump, who’s looking for re-election, repeated his earlier declare that the virus would disappear by itself as a result of individuals would “develop… herd mentality”, possible referring to “herd immunity” when sufficient individuals have developed resistance to a illness to cease its transmission.

He additionally once more solid doubt on the scientific recommendation of his personal administration on mask-wearing.

“The idea of a masks is nice, however… you are continually touching it. You are touching your face. You are touching plates. There are individuals that do not suppose masks are good,” he stated.

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention strongly urges the usage of face masks.

Mr Trump has made contradictory feedback on face masks, on the one hand disparaging them as unsanitary, and on the opposite calling on People to “present patriotism” by sporting them.

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Media captionTrump pivots on masks: ‘I am getting used to the masks’

The Q&A gathering with undecided voters on Tuesday got here because the presidential election battle entered its last stretches.

Mr Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden is anticipated to sit down for the same programme in Pennsylvania that may air on Thursday.

Pennsylvania is seen as a key battleground state within the race to the White Home.

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