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Iran Press TV

Trump deliberately downplayed coronavirus in early days of pandemic, new book says

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 09 September 2020 5:38 PM

US President Donald Trump deliberately downplayed the danger of coronavirus in early days of pandemic, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward in mid March. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

The book, "Rage", is based in part on 18 on-the-record interviews Woodward conducted with the president between December and July.

Woodward also claims that Trump had been informed weeks before covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, claimed its first lives in the US that the virus was dangerous and highly contagious.

The stunning revelation comes as many experts believe that Trump could save thousands of American lives if he acted decisively in early February with a strict shutdown.

The book also contains the remarks of several US officials, including Dr. Antony Fauci, slamming Trump for his "rudderless" leadership of the pandemic.

"His sole purpose is to get reelected," Woodward quoted Fauci, the administration's top infectious disease expert, as telling an associate.

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly questioned the way coronavirus deaths are being calculated, accusing the US Democrats of downplaying his actions in fight against the virus.

The US president also spared no effort during the past months to pin the blame on the Chinese officials over the virus outbreak, claiming that the pandemic has started from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Scientists, however, have condemned conspiracy theories about the Chinese laboratory, saying the new coronavirus has jumped from animals to humans.

Coronavirus has taken the lives of 194,463 US citizens so far.

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