The president challenged the narrative set by Woodward, that Trump not only downplayed the serious nature of the coronavirus in the early stages of the infection, but lied to the American people about it.
“Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives? Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!”
told Woodward in March he always wanted to play down the seriousness of the virus.
“Well, I think Bob, really to be honest with you … I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told the author in a phone conversation. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Trump’s comment to Woodward echoed similar public statements the president made to reporters.
asked on March 30th why he was downplaying the seriousness of the virus, Trump replied, “The statements I made are: I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want to panic in the country.”