President Donald Trump was projecting calm in February when speaking about the new virus from China in part because of concerns about a mass panic that could have left grocery store shelves bare and crash the economy, the White House said on Wednesday.
Trump told journalist Bob Woodward on Feb. 7 that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus “is deadly stuff,” according to Woodwards new book. He said the virus, which causes COVID-19, was “more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”
That same month, Trump contrasted the new virus with influenza, telling reporters at the White House: “The flu, in our country, kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. That was shocking to me. And, so far, if you look at what we have with the 15 people and their recovery, one is pretty sick but hopefully will recover, but the others are in great shape. But think of that: 25,000 to 69,000.”
Trump also said the number of COVID-19 cases would soon go “close to zero.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Sept. 9 that Trump was expressing confidence and calm.
“This president does what leaders do, good leaders. Its: stay calm and resolute at a time when you face an insurmountable challenge,” she said.
“The president has never lied to the American public on COVID. The president was expressing calm and his actions reflect that,” she added, pointing to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention issuing a travel notice for Wuhan on Jan. 6, before any confirmed CCP virus cases in the United States, and Trump banning non-Americans from traveling to the United States from China on Jan. 31.
The ban led to an 86 percent drop in travel from China to the United States.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top health expert in the Trump administration, said during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday: “I didnt get any sense that he was distorting anything.”
“He really didnt say anything different then we discussed when we were with him,” he said. “I may not be tuned into the right thing that theyre talking about, but I didnt really see any discrepancies between what he told us and what we told him and what he ultimately came out publicly and said.”
Four consecutive reporters pressed McEnany about the apparent differences between what he said in private and public in the early months oRead More From Source