28 de septiembre de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

Trump: I downplayed Covid-19 threat so as not to create panic

 President Donald J. Trump announces his list of potential Supreme Court nominees and answers reporters' questions about his response to the coronavirus pandemic at the White House, in Washington, DC, 09 September 2020. EFE/EPA/Doug Mills / POOL

President Donald J. Trump announces his list of potential Supreme Court nominees and answers reporters' questions about his response to the coronavirus pandemic at the White House, in Washington, DC, 09 September 2020. EFE/EPA/Doug Mills / POOL

Washington, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he tried to contain "panic" and avoid a "frenzy" in the investment markets when early this year he repeatedly publicly minimized the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic, as revealed in excerpts from a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

"I'm a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don't want people to be frightened. I don't want to create panic as you say and certainly I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy," said Trump in remarks to journalists at the White House reacting to the revelations in the book that were made public on Wednesday.

"We want to show confidence. We want to show strength ... as a nation and that's what I've done and we've done very well - we've done well from any standard," the president added.

When asked whether he had deliberately deceived Americans about the danger posed by the pandemic, the president responded: "If you said 'in order to reduce panic,' perhaps that's so."

Trump reacted to the revelation divulged on Wednesday by The Washington Post, and included in the book Woodward will publish next week, that the president knew in February that Covid-19 was an especially "deadly" disease, but he intentionally downplayed its seriousness to the public.

"It goes through air, Bob," Trump told Woodward during interviews for the book last February, according to a recent recording obtained by CNN. "That's always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, 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 your - you know even your strenuous flus."

But he said that he had downplayed the seriousness of the disease and, in effect, misled the public so as to avoid scaring people, potentially causing prices to skyrocket.

A reporter asked him why, if he was aware starting in early February that the pandemic could cause serious harm to the country, he waited until March to mobilize the most powerful tools of the federal government to begin to deal with the threat.

"Certainly, I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy," Trump said in defending his comments to Woodward. "The job we've done has been incredible. ... But we don't want to instill panic. We don't want to jump up and down and start shouting that we have a problem that is a tremendous problem, scare everybody."

The United States is the country that has suffered the most confirmed cases and deaths from Covid-19 with more than 6.3 million people having been infected and almost 190,000 deaths from the disease, according to the ongoing tally being kept by The Johns Hopkins University.

According to Woodward's book - titled "Rage" and which will go on sale on Sept. 15 - Trump told the veteran journalist on Feb. 7 that Covid-19 was "more deadly than ... even your (most serious) flus," adding that tens of thousands of Americans die each year as a matter of course from the regular yearly flu.

Woodward's revelation about the president's behavior and attitude vis-a-vis the pandemic sparked harsh condemnation from Trump's Democratic rival in the November presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden, who accused the president of "lying to the American people."

Trump "knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months," Biden said Wednesday in Warren, Michigan, at the start of a speech that otherwise was focused on the US economy.

"He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was and while this deadly disease ripped through our nation he failed to do his job on purpose. It was a life and death betrayal of the American people," the former vice president said.

"His failure has not only cost lives, he's sent our economy in a tailspin, and cost millions more in American livelihoods," Biden went on to say. "It's beyond despicable. It's a dereliction of duty. It's a disgrace."

Earlier on Wednesday, senior public health officials sought to assure senators that any vaccine developed against Covid-19 will not be linked in any way to the ongoing political debate.

"Science and science alone will be the way this decision is made, or I will have no part of it," said Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, during an appearance before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

The potential vaccine this week has been in the spotlight of the election debate after Trump on Monday accused Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, of undermining public confidence for political ends.

Trump insisted that the vaccine will be available in "record time" and lambasted Harris for having said that she did not have any confidence in the president's promises about the safety of a vaccine if they were not accompanied by guarantees from scientists.

Collins, who said that he will not take part in approving a vaccine unless science guides it, declared himself to be "cautiously optimistic" about the possibility that the vaccine will be approved before the end of the year.

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams ruled out any "politicization" of the vaccination process, telling the same Senate committee before which Collins testified that "There will be no shortcut."

"This vaccine will be safe, it will be effective, or it won't get moved along. And when a vaccine is approved or authorized by (U.S. regulators), I and my family will be in line to get it," Adams told the lawmakers.

On Sept. 2, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised all US states to be prepared to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, if it is approved, at the end of October or beginning of November.

AstraZeneca said Tuesday that it decided to suspend clinical trials of its proposed coronavirus vaccine after one participant suffered an adverse reaction to the medication.

Two other Covid-19 vaccine candidates - one developed by pharma giant Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, the other by Moderna - are also in clinical trials in the US.

EFE

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
NYT accesses Trump's taxes, showing huge debts, paying no taxes for years

Washington, Sep 27 (efe-epa).- The New York Times reported Sunday that it had gained access to 15 years of President Donald Trump's tax returns, both before...

Thousands of Californians dealing with programmed blackouts to prevent fires

Los Angeles, Sep 27 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Northern California residents are without electricity on Sunday as one of the measures being taken by the...

Congress delegation to inspect ICE detention center on unwanted surgeries

Atlanta, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A US congressional delegation on the weekend will inspect the Irwin County Detention Center in southern Georgia to investigate...

Costa Rica increasing its protected ocean territory

By Maria Jose Brenes

Trump booed while paying respects before Ginsburg's casket at Supreme Court

Washington, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A large crowd loudly booed President Donald Trump on Thursday during his visit to the Supreme Court, where the late Justice...

Why Brazil's Pantanal is having the worst fires in recent decades

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

Trump: November election result will end up in Supreme Court

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes the result of the November presidential election will end up in the...

US begins test of Covid-19 vaccine with 60,000 volunteers

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Janssen Pharmaceutica, owned by US multinational Johnson & Johnson, on Wednesday launched one of the world's largest tests of...

Trump prohibits Americans from staying in 400-plus hotels in Cuba

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Cuba, prohibiting Americans from staying in hotels on the...

Migrant who reported sterilization at US detention center released

Atlanta, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Pauline Binam, one of the immigrants who complained that they had been sterilized against their will at a migrant detention...

Debate about high court vacancy heats up US election climate

By Laura Barros

Trump registered his trademark in 2008 in Cuba to build hotels, casinos

Miami, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump registered his business trademark in Cuba in 2008 with an eye toward building hotels, casinos and golf...

Typed draft of Neruda sonnet found

Santiago, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- A preliminary typewritten and signed version of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's 1965 sonnet "Sangre de Toro" (Blood of the Bull)...

UN celebrates 75th anniversary with lackluster summit amid problems

By Mario Villar

Trump insists he'll fill Supreme Court vacancy, despite nearness of election

Washington, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that he will quickly replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

"Ultra-Hot Neptune," new exoplanet 260 light years from Earth

Santiago, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- An investigation headed by Chilean scientists has discovered the first so-called "Ultra-Hot Neptune," a type of exoplanet...

Brazilian government calls for halt to "Cuties" screenings, Netflix probe

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- The Jair Bolsonaro administration on Monday called for a halt to local screenings of the French film "Mignonnes"...

DeChambeau scores decisive win in US Open

Mamaroneck, New York, Sep 20 (efe-epa).- US golfer Bryson DeChambeau won his first major tourney on Sunday in decisive fashion, sweeping to victory in the...

Colombian police receiving yoga workshops to manage emotions on the job

By Jeimmy Paola Sierra

Gasoline shortage in Venezuela, new weapon in ongoing political fight

By Ron Gonzalez

At least 17 migrant women subjected to unnecessary surgeries at US detention center

Atlanta, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- At least 17 women were subjected to unnecessary surgeries, including hysterectomies, at a migrant detention center in Georgia, a...

Firefighters continue battling blazes across California

By Alex Segura Lozano

Six months of quarantine, an eternity in Venezuela

By Sabela Bello

After court reversal, TPS beneficiaries seek to be heard in US

By Luis Uribe