President Trump Defends Downplaying The Threat Of COVID-19

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President Trump Defends Downplaying The Threat Of COVID-19
In recently released audio tapes, President Trump is heard telling Bob Woodward he wanted to downplay the virus during an interview in February.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

The president is defending downplaying the threat of the coronavirus.

Recently released audio tapes from his conversations with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward earlier this year have sparked controversy.

During the interview, President Trump said he wanted to downplay the virus because he didn't want to create panic.

He also admitted the virus is deadlier than the flu.

"It goes through air, Bob. That's always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, 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 your, you know, your, even your strenuous flus ...This is more deadly. This is five per, you know, this is 5% versus 1% and less than one percent. You know? So, this is deadly stuff," President Trump said.

That was in February. Since that conversation, more than 190,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

"I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We want to show strength. We want to show strength as a nation and that's what I've done. We've done very well,” President Trump said.

While campaigning in Michigan, Joe Biden said the president lied and failed to do his job on purpose, but President Trump maintains his actions were an effort to avoid panic.

For Newsy, I'm Terace Garnier.

Contains footage from CNN