Trump denies downplaying coronavirus risk

Trump denies downplaying coronavirus risk
In an interview, President Trump said he minimised the virus's severity to avoid panic. Source: Reuters
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump has denied downplaying the risk of Covid-19, despite admitting in a recorded interview with journalist Bob Woodward to having done that.

During a televised event with voters, Mr Trump said he had “up-played”.

The claim contradicts comments President Trump made to journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year, when he said he minimised the severity and risk of the virus to avoid panic.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump also repeated that a vaccine could be ready “within weeks” despite scepticism from health experts.

At Tuesday’s town hall meeting held by ABC News in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump was asked why he would “downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities”.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action,” Mr Trump responded.

No vaccine has yet completed clinical trials, leading some scientists and experts to fear politics rather than health and safety is driving the push for a vaccine before the 3 November presidential elections.

According to data collated by Johns Hopkins University, more than 195,000 people have died with Covid-19 in the US since the beginning of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the magazine Scientific American endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in its 175-year history, backing Democrat Joe Biden for the White House.

The magazine said Mr Trump “rejects evidence and science” and described the US President’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “dishonest and inept”.

He claimed his action was very strong, citing a ban imposed on people travelling from China and Europe earlier this year.

Mr Trump said: “We would have lost thousands of more people had I not put the ban on. We saved a lot of lives when we did that.”

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