Trump Knowingly Lied to Americans About COVID for Months

The President of the United States of America knew the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic…and lied about it.

Indefatigable journalist Bob Woodward (yes, THAT Bob Woodward) is reporting ahead of the release of a new book that President Trump knew full well — from day one — about the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic BUT INTENTIONALLY DOWNPLAYED THE THREAT TO AMERICANS.

As The Washington Post explains (we’re excerpting a bit more than we would normally because of the gravity of this news):

President Trump’s head popped up during his top-secret intelligence briefing in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 when the discussion turned to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

“This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Trump, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”

“It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. This is deadly stuff.”

— President Trump on February 7, 2020

Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, agreed. He told the president that after reaching contacts in China, it was evident that the world faced a health emergency on par with the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Ten days later, Trump called Woodward and revealed that he thought the situation was far more dire than what he had been saying publicly.

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

“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.

At that time, Trump was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than a seasonal flu, predicting it would soon disappear, and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control. It would be several weeks before he would publicly acknowledge that the virus was no ordinary flu and that it could be transmitted through the air.

Trump admitted to Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. [Pols emphasis]

“I always wanted to play it down.”

— President Trump on March 19, 2020

Now, we know what you’re thinking: Trump is just going to deny he said any of this and we’re just going to go around in circles about it for months and months.

But there are tapes.

Go over to The Washington Post or CNN and listen to the audio yourself. There’s nothing to misinterpret. President Trump repeatedly says that he knew the coronavirus would lead to a deadly pandemic, but he downplayed it for months and discouraged social distancing measures (and mask wearing) because…well, apparently because he could.

There’s also a Colorado-specific angle to all of this. Trump told Woodward about the dangers of COVID-19 on February 7, 2020. Two weeks later, on February 20, Trump held a massive campaign rally in Colorado Springs.

Trump KNEW that it was dangerous for thousands of people to be congregating in one place to hear him speak. Trump KNEW how the coronavirus could spread if just one of the people in attendance were infected.

But he did it anyway.

This is your President, America.


Colorado Springs, CO (Feb. 20, 2020)

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    You just can't make this shit up.
    Every day is something new and disgusting.

  2. Genghis says:

    So Woodward had tapes of Trump acknowledging in February that COVID-19 is "deadly stuff," and kept it to himself because he knew he'd have a book to sell? Seriously, man, fuck everything.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      He probably called John Bolton for advice on how to handle this bit of information.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I'm having a bit of a hard time reaching any sort of outrage these days … probably an overdose from all the outrageous things of the 2016 campaign and the 3 years after, and the last 7 interminable months of COVID, and the last 7 endless weeks since Trump changed campaign managers and admitted he WOULDN'T have a full, in-person RNC in Jacksonville, and the past 7 days with the on-going "losers" and "suckers" story.

      Yeah, Woodward could have revealed his story last February.  And Bolton could have revealed his during the months before an impeachment resolution.  And Scaramucci could have spoken out earlier.  And there could have been other statements from Cabinet officials, White House Chiefs of Staff, and lots of others, too. 

      Would anything have changed?

      • Genghis says:

        I'm having a bit of a hard time reaching any sort of outrage these days …

        Same here, but this story did the trick for several reasons.

        Yeah, Woodward could have revealed his story last February.  . . . Would anything have changed?

        We'll never know for sure, as Woodward – who's a complete piece of shit, as it turns out – kept the information to himself so he could pad his bank account.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        I'm with you. There is pretty much nothing left which would shock me anymore.

    • Denver Yankee says:

      Shoot the messenger?

    • marklane1351 says:

      Maybe it had to do with there were 18 interviews between December and July and Woodward thought before publishing the contents of the interviews, both Trump and the public deserved to have the entire story told not just bits and pieces. Trump was treated fairly. He should be more careful about what he says when talking to reporters.

    • kickshot says:

      IMHO, the full story as published was needed.

      To release it in Feb would have put the Dump spin and denial complex into immediate response mode.

      As it is, the same machine doesn't know how or where to start with a counter narrative, giving the raw accounts recorded on tape time to sink in and be analyzed without obfuscation.

      • gertie97 says:

        Read Woodward's explanation on WaPo. He first had to determine if it was true, always a wise precaution when trump is concerned.

        • kickshot says:

          Ya. Woodward expresses doubts about the truthiness of what he was being told but margaret sullivan has the same thoughts that I did:

          "I don’t know if putting the book’s newsiest revelations out there in something closer to real time would have made a difference. They might very well have been denied and soon forgotten in the constant rush of new scandals and lies."

  3. kickshot says:

    Let’s watch Barr step in now and mount a defense for Dump when he is tried for crimes against humanity because he did it in his official capacity; putting that on the same level as defamation.

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find out that they are satan-worshipping pedophiles.

  4. itlduso says:

    Plan B!  Plan B! 

    GOP leadership go to Trump (a la Nixon) and demand he resign immediately.  Pence becomes president and the GOP selects Pence to run in place of Trump.  After the election, regardless of its outcome, Pence pardons Trump and his family.  Should have been done months ago.

  5. Half Glass Full says:

    They'll wait about a week and see if this moves the polls. I think it will. The anti-Trump ads are writing themselves … no wait, even more accurately, Trump's writing them himself.

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    At least this will take folks' minds off calling the military vets "losers" and "suckers."

    BTW, I caught some of Biden's speech in Warren, MI at lunchtime. Not bad, especially for someone who is rumored to be a cognitively-impaired old man. (My guess is Biden could draw a clock faster and better than Trump can.)

    Biden managed to hit Trump on: (1) the lies about COVID, (2) the "suckers" and "losers" while working Beau into the speech, and (3) the Trump Depression and MI's shitty economy.

  7. Gilpin Guy says:

    He knew and didn't do anything about it because he believed it would only hurt blue states and blame would fall on the Democratic governors.  The neglect was political and intentional.

    • kickshot says:

      I believe that explanation too – that leaving the door open to the pandemic was intended to harm blue states and govs only.

      But this makes his claims about panic false.

      • NOV GOP meltdown says:

        To both of your points GG and Kickshot, the whole story about Kushner's detailed pandemic plan getting shelved by Trump kind of makes sense now.  The virus was disproportionately hurting blue states like New York and California at the time, so why do anything ? Tell everyone its OK when you know it's not and watch the carnage.  Don't encourage masks, don't encourage social distancing.

        Then it blew up in Dumps face, like all things do, when the red states started suffering. 

        Letting people suffer and die because they're from a state that mostly didn't vote for you is evil, and its pure, pure Trump. Total assholery – check. Total incompetence – check.

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