Audio recordings of President Trump prove he not only knew the gravity of the coronavirus but that he also downplayed the virus to the American public. The audio from interviews with Bob Woodward dropped as the United States approaches 200,000 covid-19 related deaths. Unsurprisingly, the revelations left Senator Kevin Cramer unfazed in his defense-at-all-costs for the President.
"It doesn't bother me," Cramer says of Trump downplaying coronavirus in Woodward's book. "I don't feel like he was ever lying to anybody. He's a hopeful, upbeat, positive person....the gravity of it when it was becoming clearer, was also reflected by him."— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) September 9, 2020
Cramer went on to say, “Let’s also remember that even from the very beginning, while he downplayed, he wanted to give people hope rather than despair. He also issued that travel ban which many people thought was extreme.”
What Americans needed was a President with the facts and a plan. We didn’t need someone who downplayed, misled, and punted responsibilities with false words of “hope.” We needed truth coming from the White House. We needed the somber, fact-based conversation the President gave Woodward but not the public. That would have been tough leadership. Now with the facts before us, we certainly don’t need someone to enable and provide cover for the failure to lead that has cost millions their jobs, and worse hundreds of thousands of lives. That is who ND has in their Junior Senator.
Here is a brief timeline of what was revealed today. On February 7th, Trump told Woodward how this virus was “more deadly” than the strenuous flu. Two weeks later he told Americans it would just “go away.” Days later he told a rally in South Carolina the coronavirus was the Democrat’s “new hoax.” March 13th, on the White House lawn, the President said, “I don’t take responsibility at all,” for the administration’s response to the virus. Just six days later, on March 19th, he told Woodward,”I want to always play it down.”
Here is a recording from February 7th:
This is President Trump on tape, on February 7, saying that the coronavirus is "more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus." But he minimized the threat in public. On February 26, he told the public "I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away." pic.twitter.com/TOHTpqYtvZ— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 9, 2020
This is the audio from March 19th:
Trump tells Woodward he played down the threat of the coronavirus.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 9, 2020
"I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic."
He also tells Woodward that "plenty of young people" are vulnerable -- different from his public message pic.twitter.com/fJZUZtJTIv
Some are quick to point to the “travel ban” as the rapid response from the administration. That shows the President was taking it serious they say. Was there push back to that move from Democratic politicians that warrants scrutiny? Yes. The thing is, even with that travel restriction, it was followed by downplaying rhetoric and the US is still far behind in our response.
Trump isn’t responsible for the coronavirus. But he is responsible for the unpreparedness of the American public. His admitted downplaying led to millions of people not taking the pandemic seriously. It planted the seed of doubt in what experts were saying. He routinely watered that seed until it grew to anger from the public. Governors, mayors, and businesses were met with furious push back when they simply asked people to follow guidelines. Those guidelines were to slow the spread of the virus Trump himself admitted was more deadly than the flu. Unfortunately, he only admitted it behind closed doors to a journalist who waited months to make it public.
The President knew. He didn’t tell you the full truth. That bothers me. It should bother you. Sadly, it is no surprise it doesn’t bother Kevin Cramer.