Reports on Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Rage have the usual suspects accusing President Trump of irresponsibly downplaying the COVID-19 virus. Trump being accused of downplaying the virus is nothing new.
“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said.
Trump’s critics have taken this to mean that Trump was misleading the American public about the severity of the disease–an allegation disputed by none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
During an interview on Fox News on Wednesday, Dr. Fauci disputed the notion that Trump ever downplayed the coronavirus. According to Fauci, Trump’s public statements were no different than sentiments expressed during White House Task Force meetings.
“In my discussions and the discussions of other task force members with the president, we were talking about the reality of what was going on, and then we would get up in front of the press conferences … he really didn’t say anything different than we discussed when we were with him.”
“I didn’t really see any discrepancies between what he told us and what we told him in what he ultimately came out publicly and said.”
“Did you get a sense that [President Trump] was or wasn’t playing this down?” Fox News’ John Roberts asked.
“No, no, I didn’t. I didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything,” Fauci replied. “In my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. When he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things.”
Another bogus attack in the wake of the phony Atlantic story.