President Donald Trump knew Covid-19 was deadlier than the flu earlier than it hit the US however needed to minimize the disaster, in keeping with a brand new ebook.
Bob Woodward, the journalist who broke the Watergate scandal, interviewed Mr Trump 18 instances from December to July.
Mr Trump instructed him the virus was “lethal stuff” earlier than the primary US dying was confirmed, later including he needed to “play it down” to keep away from inflicting panic.
The president referred to as the ebook a “faux” in a tweet on Wednesday.
Within the interviews for Mr Woodward’s forthcoming ebook, Rage, Mr Trump indicated that he knew extra in regards to the severity of the sickness than he had stated publicly.
In keeping with a tape of the decision, Mr Trump instructed Mr Woodward in February that the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu.
“That is 5 p.c versus one p.c and fewer than one p.c. You recognize? So, that is lethal stuff.”
On Wednesday, some US media launched elements of the interviews between the president and the journalist.
On 19 March, because the US coronavirus disaster started and the White Home declared it a nationwide emergency, the president instructed Mr Woodward: “I needed to at all times play it down. I nonetheless like taking part in it down, as a result of I do not wish to create a panic.”
Shortly after reviews of the ebook’s claims have been revealed, Mr Trump tweeted: “The Bob Woodward ebook shall be a FAKE, as at all times, simply as most of the others have been.”
He additionally referred to as the storied reporter a “social pretender”, “who by no means has something good to say”.
Rage shall be launched on 15 September.