WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump knew about the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic in February, but decided to downplay the issue at the time, according to a March interview with award-winning journalist Bob Woodward and published in his new book.
“I wanted to try to downplay it,” Trump said March 19 in a call with Woodward, according to a copy of his new book “Rage” obtained by The Washington Post.
The Post, where Woodward worked for years and rose to fame for his investigation into the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, also had access to an audio portion of the interview.
Woodward’s book will go on sale next week. According to the book, Trump knew about COVID-19 since January 2020.
“This thing is deadly,” Trump told Woodward on February 7 during a phone call.
Woodward’s book indicates that advisers painted the president in January 2020 a grim picture of the virus that in March became a global pandemic.
Despite the audios of the interview, Trump tweeted on August 14 that Woodward’s book would all be “fake.”