According to audio excerpts from several interviews by journalist Bob Woodward, US President Donald Trump was aware of the severity of the coronavirus as early as February but played it down to minimize the danger to the public. In February, Trump told the renowned reporter, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal that toppled Richard Nixon in 1974: "You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus."
Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, said Woodward’s book proved that Trump had lied to Americans about the pandemic. "He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. While a deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job — on purpose. It was a life or death betrayal of the American people," Biden said at a campaign event in Michigan.
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