- President Trump falsely claimed Tuesday that he had "hyped up" the COVID-19 pandemic despite making comments in public and on tapes showing otherwise.
- "I didn't downplay it," Trump replied to a question about his handling of the pandemic during a town hall on ABC News. "I've played it in action in a number of ways."
- In fact, Trump told veteran reporter Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was easily transmitted and more deadly than the flu, and that he was deliberately trying to "downplay" it so it would not "panic".
- As of Tuesday, the coronavirus had infected 6.6 million Americans and killed nearly 196,000. The US has roughly 25% of the world's confirmed cases, despite only making up 4% of its population.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Tuesday that he "hyped" the coronavirus pandemic despite tapes and public comments suggesting the opposite.
"I didn't downplay it," Trump responded to a question about his handling of COVID-19 while at a town hall on ABC News. "I've played it in action in a number of ways."
Fact check: The president has repeatedly and consistently misled the public about the severity of the outbreak, despite the killing of thousands and decimating the economy across the country. He also admitted to veteran journalist Bob Woodward that the disease was easily transmitted and more dangerous than the flu. And he later told Woodward that he had deliberately downplayed the risk of the pandemic despite telling the public otherwise.
On February 7th, Trump said to Woodward, "It goes through the air. It's always harder than touch. You don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that's how it happened. And that is so very tricky. It's very tricky. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flow. "
A few weeks later, on February 26, during a coronavirus task force meeting, the president said that COVID-19 is "a little different, but in some ways easier and in some ways a little harsher" than the flu.
"But we have it under control so well," he added. "I mean, we did a really good job."
In another interview with Woodward on March 19, the president said he "always wants to downplay it", referring to the coronavirus outbreak. "I still like to downplay it because I don't want to panic," he added.
From Tuesday eveningCOVID-19 has infected more than 6.6 million Americans and killed nearly 196,000. The economy is in tatters, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and the country has roughly 25% of the world's coronavirus cases, despite only affecting 4% of the population.
—Gregarious (@mistergeezy) September 16, 2020