Trump misled public about Covid, blamed China, now Woodward

Donald Trump has been exposed yet again for misleading the public, this time about the severity of Covid. He blamed China for doing what he did (blame diversion is typical of Trump), and now he is trying to blame Bob Woodward for not revealing his misinformation sooner.

Back in April Trump warns of consequences ‘if China responsible’

US President Donald Trump has warned China that it should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic, as he ratcheted up criticism of Beijing over its handling of the outbreak.

“It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump told a daily White House briefing.

It could have been far less worse in the US if Trump had been transparent and honest about the severity of Covid, and had acted faster and more decisively. Instead he fostered a culture of Covid denial in the US, and this affected how many states dealt with the virus – inadequately until it had already spread and killed many people.

Trump and senior aides have accused China of a lack of transparency after the coronavirus broke out late last year in its city of Wuhan. 

Bob Woodward has just revealed that Trump was far from transparent about what he knew.

Trump also again cast doubt on China’s death toll, which was revised up on Friday. China said 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in Wuhan – half the total – were not counted, but dismissed allegations of a cover-up.

The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 720,000 infections and over 37,000 deaths.

In May Trump harshly blames China for pandemic; a lab ‘mistake’?

In recent days the Trump administration has sharpened its rhetoric on China, accusing the geopolitical foe and vital trading partner of failing to act swiftly enough to sound the alarm about the outbreak or to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

That pretty much describes how Trump mishandled it in the US.

US officials have said the Chinese government should “pay a price“ for its handling of the pandemic

The US has paid a huge price – they now total 6.6 million cases and have had nearly 200,000 deaths attributed to Covid.

Now from NPR: Woodward Book Casts New Light On Trump’s Fight With WHO

President Trump has publicly blamed the World Health Organization for being slow to sound alarm bells about the coronavirus.

“On March 3, 2020, the World Health Organization cited official Chinese data to downplay the very serious risk of asymptomatic spread, telling the world that ‘COVID- 19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza.’ ” Trump wrote, in a May 18 letter addressed to WHO leadership. “It is now clear that China’s assertions, repeated to the world by the World Health Organization, were wildly inaccurate.”

“Many lives could have been saved” had WHO warned the world earlier, Trump wrote. Later that month, he announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the global health agency.

Now, taped conversations between the president and journalist Bob Woodward, as reported in the forthcoming book Rage, indicate that in early February, Trump was well aware of the dangers of the coronavirus and chose to downplay the public health threat to Americans.

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 conversation. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

For public health expert Jeremy Konydyk, the conversations clearly demonstrate that the president has been scapegoating WHO for failures of his administration. “These tapes make clear that the very things that the president was accusing WHO of failing to share, specifically the lethality and the transmissibility of this virus, were things he was already well aware of,” says Konyndyk.

Scapegoating WHO, scapegoating China, while Trump was making the mistakes he was accusing them of.

Trump told Woodward in a subsequent interview in March that he was downplaying the virus’s severity to avoid panic — a point he reiterated at a news conference September 10. “I don’t want to jump up and down and start screaming, ‘Death! Death!'” the president said.

But public health experts say the president’s attempts to reassure the public have had the opposite effect. “If you want the public to remain reasonably calm, if you want them not to be confused and uncertain, you tell them the truth,” says Lawrence Gostin, head of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University and director of a WHO collaborating center on global health law.

Gostin believes that public trust is gained when “you level with the American population” and tell what’s known about a situation, what’s still unclear and when and how the uncertainties will be resolved. Instead, when “the World Health Organization said it was serious and Trump downplayed it — that’s a recipe for fear and panic,” he says.

Trump fomented and encouraged and promoted an anti-Covid movement in the US.

And typically Trump denies lying about risks of coronavirus

He tweeted on Thursday that Woodward did not report his quotes for months. “He knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!”

Later he told reporters he never lied, when they suggested he deliberately misled the American public on how dangerous the virus was.

In a White House news conference on Thursday afternoon, he said in response to a reporter’s question: “I didn’t lie, what I said is we have to be calm, we can’t be panicked.”

That’s not what he said. He deliberately downplayed the severity of Covid, which encouraged many people to downplay the severity including to deny it was a problem aat all and should be virtually ignored.

He added: “I don’t want to jump up and down and start screaming, ‘death, death’, because that’s not what it’s about.”

That’s a stupid statement.

“Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives?” Mr Trump said.

“Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!”

And true to form, when challenged on his bullshitting, he blamed the messenger, and also claimed Woodward supported his bull.

This won’t stop people devoutly supporting Trump while stoutly disputing the severity of Covid.

Woodward has been criticised by others as well.

Woodward has been criticised for withholding the president’s remarks on the pandemic, with some saying it was an unethical decision.

The journalist offered a defence in the Washington Post and Associated Press on Wednesday, saying he needed to check whether what Mr Trump told him was accurate.

“The biggest problem I had, which is always a problem with Trump, is I didn’t know if it was true,” Woodward told The Post.

That’s always been a problem with Trump. People tend to just believe what they want to believe because Trump lies and distorts the truth so much.

Woodward’s book, Rage, will be released on 15 September.

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51 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  12th September 2020

    Yes, cannot wait until Rage is downloaded on my Kindle.
    I note the number of cases as reported by China and simply do not trust them to be open and honest in their reportage.
    Neither do I believe the numbers coming out of India, Russia and any African country.
    COVID – 19 will be with us for decades.
    We must all learn to mitigate it as best we can and learn to live with it.

    Reply
  2. Duker

     /  12th September 2020

    Trump didnt lie to prevent panic…..the only thing he was worried about was the stock market.

    Woodward couldnt reveal his quotes at the time they were made because the agreement he had to talk on the record meant no pre publication till the book came out. Im not too familiar with his books but I understand thats his style of working which gets him acess…which Trump knew about

    Reply
    • “Trump didnt lie to prevent panic…..the only thing he was worried about was the stock market.”

      I disagree. One of the primary concerns of Trump seems to be his own reputation. He doesn’t want to be seen to be doing things badly, and wants to be seen as the greatest leader of the greatest country doing the best.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th September 2020

      Obviously Woodward’s book was timed for the election and is simply a moneymaking political project in best US traditions.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th September 2020

        Trump would have known that, Woodward writes these sorts of books and all the interviews were recorded.
        Did he think Woodward would release a book after he (Trump) was dead?

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  12th September 2020

          Oh and this
          “Trump agreed to be interviewed by Woodward after complaining he didn’t participate in Woodward’s 2018 bestselling book “Fear.” Woodward had repeatedly offered Trump the opportunity to be interviewed for that book, but Trump pretended he had never received the requests.”

          That river in Egypt is running strong through this thread as Trumps supporters twist and turn and ‘play as a flounder’

          https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/09/politics/trump-bob-woodward-interviews/index.html

          Reply
    • David

       /  12th September 2020

      The stock market had already crashed.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th September 2020

        Not so . At that early stage I was able to move all my Kiwisaver from the funds share account to its cash and bonds account.
        Didnt lose a cent , I think the stockmarket peaked 2 weeks later

        Reply
  3. David

     /  12th September 2020

    Why Trump sat down with Woodward is a bloody mystery, ego is the only explanation.
    The problem with this assertion is there are numerous times Trump has stated publicly over the beginning of the outbreak is he didnt want people to panic, its hardly a revelation. What did you want him to do go to the podium and scare the crap out of everyone.
    Trump shut down travel from China and then Europe, before we did, and was called a xenophobe all the while Biden was holding packed rallies, Pelosi was encouraging people to come down to Chinatown, Cuomo was telling people there was nothing to panic about.
    No one got this right and this monday morning quaterbacking is ridiculous. No one knew and I guess that is why they called it a “novel” virus.
    Cuomo said NY is not Italy and then promptly sent patients out of hospitals and back to rest homes and killed 11000 residents. NYs death rate would rank the worst in the world by a large factor with Dem run New Jersey not far behind…but this weeks orange man bad now that last weeks “loosers and suckers” has been widely debunked. Wonder what next week will bring.

    Reply
    • “Why Trump sat down with Woodward is a bloody mystery, ego is the only explanation.’

      I think that’s right. He did 18 interviews. He seemed to think he would get the praise he thought he deserved.

      Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  12th September 2020

      An inconvenient truth. .

      “Trump shut down travel from China and then Europe, before we did, and was called a xenophobe all the while Biden was holding packed rallies, Pelosi was encouraging people to come down to Chinatown, Cuomo was telling people there was nothing to panic about.”

      Reply
  4. Tom Hunter

     /  12th September 2020

    I didn’t get any sense that [Trump] was distorting anything. I mean in my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. And when he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things. . . .

    I don’t recall anything different than in our discussions that we had with the president that he said things quite similar publicly. . . I didn’t see any discrepancies between what he told us and what we told him, and what he came out publicly and said.
    – Dr Anthony Fauci

    He also denied the specific quotes attributed to him, which is not a surprise as Woodward has long had form on this. His books are entertaining reads but they long ago fell into an “insider” formula as he continues to cruise on the legend of Watergate.

    Oh well. Mattis has a book coming out soon, followed by one from Obama CIA chief Brennan. There will be plenty more hot takes that will provide Two Minute Hate sessions – that will then be forgotten next week.

    Reply
  5. David

     /  12th September 2020

    One of these days someone may come up with something Trump has actually done wrong rather than the revelation that he communicates like a NY property developer and not a politician. It would be about as surprising as him putting up a skyscraper on 5th Avenue and refer to it as a modest build…he built them in gold and had his name in illuminated 50 ft letters why would anyone imagine he would talk of disaster and end of days.
    Dr Fauci has dismissed Woodward and said Trump always took it seriously which is a bit awkward.
    Anyway I am still waiting for WW3 after he took out Iranian terrorist Salamani that was promised by all the experts, about the 50th time they said Trump would push the world to the brink, awkward fact he is the most peaceful President in a generation.

    Reply
    • Fight4nz

       /  12th September 2020

      “ he is the most peaceful President in a generation.”
      I hope you held up your hand pinching your index finger and thumb when you wrote that.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th September 2020

      ” WW3 after he took out Iranian terrorist Salamani that was promised by all the experts”

      Promised by Trump himself , who said there would be massive retaliation if Iran struck back , which Iran did with a massive rocket barrage against US military targets .

      52 sites were listed for attack by someone who looked like Trump

      So Trump promised WW3 but instead gave nothing…same happened with Kim Jon Un…

      Reply
  6. Fight4nz

     /  12th September 2020

    The Trump lies continue in these tapes. Claims that he wanted to stop panic are window dressing. He simply had no idea and his ego said do whatever goes against anything that has a hint of democrat about it. Only a few weeks ago he was refusing to wear a mask and bumbling away with some graphs trying to show Covid wasn’t a problem. Now he’s found he completely f***d up he is desperate to rewrite history and get re-elected.
    Should have let him run with the bleach cure.

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th September 2020

    The daily “Trump said something bad” story is beyond tedious.

    Reply
    • It’s not clear what you’re grizzling about here. This is the first post here on Trump this month.

      Trump saying stupid stuff does get tedious because that’s pretty much a daily occurrence. But I think it’s worth pointing out every now and then how far removed he is from the truth, especially for the diversionary reactions.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  12th September 2020

        Not referring to your blogging, Pete, just the daily outrage promoted by the MSM.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th September 2020

      PDT likes tedium..

      Reply
      • Fight4nz

         /  12th September 2020

        Discerning downtickers (not myself for the record) know blind Trumpophilic bs when they read it.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  12th September 2020

          TDS sufferers require daily injections of outrage.

          Reply
          • Fight4nz

             /  12th September 2020

            Actually would really welcome a break from relentless asshattery by the leader of the free world. And more worryingly the way it is lapped up by the profoundly ignorant but eligible voters.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th September 2020

              The MSM have determined that your daily injections are necessary in their national interest and will continue so long as Trump remains in office.

            • Fight4nz

               /  12th September 2020

              Twitter is MSM now?

            • Duker

               /  12th September 2020

              Exactly …Trump doesnt have an off button and spews out as good as he gets.
              He only agreed to recorded interviews for this book because ‘ he didnt do so for the last book’
              “Trump agreed to be interviewed by Woodward after complaining he didn’t participate in Woodward’s 2018 bestselling book “Fear.” Woodward had repeatedly offered Trump the opportunity to be interviewed for that book, but Trump pretended he had never received the requests.”
              Cant miss the limelight no matter. If the reaction is negative just deny having to do with , the mugs who follow him will believe that too.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th September 2020

              The mugs who follow him are mostly the Lefty media and their audience. Most Trump voters never go on Twitter.

            • Duker

               /  12th September 2020

              Maybe 4 years ago that might be true about Trump …this is 2020 and its all different
              https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/05/28/trump-twitter-by-numbers/
              6x as many followers in 2020 as 2016 tells the real story , not your assumptions
              Do you reckon there is 80 mill ‘lefties’ following Trump ?
              hahahahaha, skewered again.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th September 2020

              Ever read the comments on Trump’s Twitter feed? Whenever I have they’re 100% Democrats.

            • Duker

               /  12th September 2020

              Diversion…. you said “mugs who follow him….”
              I just pointed out the absurdity of 80 mill being lefties when they are mugs ..LIKE YOU.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th September 2020

              Why do you think 80m Lefties following Trump is absurd? TDS is widespread and hungry.

            • Fight4nz

               /  12th September 2020

              “ The mugs who follow him are mostly ….”
              Irrelevant. It’s what is posted that reveals the true level of idiocy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th September 2020

              No, actions speak louder than words. Obama had all the right words but not the right actions. Trump has the reverse. Choose your desired idiocy.

            • Fight4NZ

               /  13th September 2020

              Obama did receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

  8. David

     /  12th September 2020

    Bahrain and Israel.just signed a peace deal thank you Trump

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th September 2020

      Were they ever actually at at war … or were a threat to Israel now , why no.

      Carter and Clinton did all the hard yards with the real treaties with Palestinians , Egypt and Jordan.
      Why doesnt Trump twist the Saudis arms on this rather than minnows and non belligerents like the Gulf States
      Its really about US – Israel coordination with the Gulf states against Iran

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  12th September 2020

        Obviously Nobel Peace Prize material.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  12th September 2020

          Two non belligerents ?
          They are just ‘recognising Israel’ thats all as there was no war between them.

          He in line for one of ‘the Wallies ‘ as he claims muslim Kosovo has has a new peace treaty too
          https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-trump-and-netanyahu-s-barefaced-gaslighting-on-the-israel-kosovo-deal-1.9132455

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  12th September 2020

            The announcement that Israel and Kosovo have agreed to establish diplomatic relations is a welcome development for both nations. But as is often the case with Israel’s leadership, this development is not only long overdue, but was also made for the wrong reasons.

            Moreover, framing it, as senior American and Israeli officials have done, as yet another win for Israel within the Arab and Muslim world, is a cynical spin that constitutes nothing less than diplomatic gaslighting.

            In other words Trump has persuaded the Israelis to overcome their internal politics and accept a peaceful solution – where Obama failed. Yet, guess who got the Peace Prize.

            Reply
          • David

             /  12th September 2020

            If Trump personally cured covid and brought peace to the middle east you would still find a negative angle.

            Reply
            • Fight4nz

               /  12th September 2020

              No, I wouldn’t be paying attention because I’d have won $50m on Lotto and been voted sexiest man by whatever the popular magazine/social media is now.

  9. FarmerPete

     /  12th September 2020

    Just when I thought TDS was taking a holiday here, it rears it’s ugly head again.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  13th September 2020

      Just when you thought people would give up making observations about Trump because their contribution might be called TDS…

      I watched many hours live of the President’s conferences. I didn’t realise there’d been an out of sight interview where diametrically different things were being said.

      The performances I watched have taken on a more remarkakable perspective. For all that time, in all those sessions, a person who’ flies by the seat of his pants, and desperately goes off script’ restrained himself, controlled himself, and didn’t let the backroom real story intrude.

      The syndrome of being sucked in might be valid.

      Reply
      • FarmerPete

         /  13th September 2020

        Strange how different people can see the same thing and reach different conclusions. Just because you watched hours of something doesn’t mean you have reached a worthwhile conclusion. On the basis of that specious reasoning, old people should have the stranglehold on wisdom because they have more life experience. I might be more sympathetic to your viewpoint if you avoided the not so subtle ad hominem, and there was more balance on US politics on this site.

        Reply
        • Fight4nz

           /  13th September 2020

          Yes, there’s a shameful dirth of websites deifying Trump. You would be lucky to find excerpts from at least a dozen of them posted in this site if you didn’t look. You may want to try a search engine to see if you can find one of those more balanced blogs. Then you could return here and we could see if you have learned anything.

          Reply
          • FarmerPete

             /  13th September 2020

            How tiresome. Another who plays the man and not the ball. As a matter of fact there are dozens of sites where a more balanced coverage can be obtained. Of course if you rely on the trash peddled by the NY times and the Washington Post as Stuff and the Herald does you are swimming in contaminated waters.

            Reply
            • Fight4nz

               /  13th September 2020

              “ Just because you watched hours of something doesn’t mean you have reached a worthwhile conclusion. On the basis of that specious reasoning …”
              Playing the ball??
              Tiresome indeed.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th September 2020

        I haven’t even watched many seconds of Trump’s press conferences, thus confirming my observation that the mugs following his every word are his detractors, not his supporters.

        Reply
  10. Brian Johnston

     /  13th September 2020

    Come on guys. Back off the pathetic Trump attacks.
    He is taking the industries back to America.
    He is doing a great job.
    Get used to it he will win.
    Go the Donald.

    Reply

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