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Coronavirus: Trump denies downplaying severity of virus

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

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Reuters

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President Donald Trump mentioned “we saved plenty of lives”

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

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

The declare contradicts what Mr Trump informed journalist Bob Woodward earlier this yr that he minimised the virus’s severity to keep away from panic.

And Mr Trump repeated {that a} vaccine could possibly be prepared “inside weeks” regardless of scepticism from US well being consultants.

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.

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

Mr Trump was quoted as telling him the virus was “lethal stuff” earlier than the primary US demise was confirmed.

Greater than 195,000 folks have died with Covid-19 within the US for the reason that starting of the pandemic, in line with Johns Hopkins college.

What did President Trump say?

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

Mr Trump responded: “Yeah, effectively, I did not downplay it. I really, in lots of was, I up-played it, when it comes to motion.”

“My motion was very sturdy,” he mentioned, citing a ban imposed on folks travelling from China and Europe earlier this yr.

“We’d have misplaced 1000’s of extra folks had I not put the ban on. We saved plenty of lives once we did that,” Mr Trump mentioned.

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

In February, Mr Trump indicated within the interview with Woodward that he knew extra in regards to the severity of the sickness than he had mentioned publicly.

“It goes by 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 difficult one. That is a really delicate one. It is also extra lethal than even your strenuous flus.”

In Philadelphia, Mr Trump, who’s in search of re-election, confronted questions from undecided voters over race and healthcare.

Tuesday’s Q&A gathering comes because the presidential election battle enters its remaining stretches.

Mr Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden is predicted to take a seat 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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