The mainstream media is crying foul about President Trump’s comments about the pandemic to journalist Bob Woodward back in March. However, the facts of the matter aren’t nearly as controversial as they’d like you to think.
The left-leaning spin doctors at the nation’s media giants manufactured a new controversy this week. This time, they made one over comments the president made about the pandemic to journalist Bob Woodward back in the early days of the global pandemic. In March, the president told Woodward he decided to down the potential severity of the coronavirus outbreak in order to keep the nation calm. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward in a recorded audio interview from March 19. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
According to the Woodward tapes, President Trump used the words“deadly stuff” to describe the virus. He added that it’s “more deadly than even your strenuous flus” as early as February 7. The media has placed this particular quote at the focal point of their attack because it surfaced so early in the outbreak. The sworn Trump-haters say this is evidence that the president knew the potential risks and misled the public.
The recordings come from a series of interviews that Woodward conducted with President Trump as background for his upcoming book, “Rage”. All in all, Trump sat down for interviews with Woodward on 18 separate occasions. CNN and the Washington Post have published audio excerpts from those recordings, but full recordings and transcripts haven’t been released yet. “Rage” will roll out next week.
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However, the latest liberal outrage isn’t as damning as the establishment media would like you to think. Many Democratic leaders, including House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), also took steps to keep their constituents calm in the early days of the outbreak. Pelosi visited San Francisco’s Chinatown in late February to ease local fears about the virus.
Furthermore, many Democrats and media outlets attacked the president for implementing travel bans against China and Europe. After Trump decided to impose a travel ban against China in late January, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden went on a tirade against the move, calling it an extension of President Trump’s “record of hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering.”
In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump discussed the comments and explained his actions. “I’m the leader of the country, I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people,” Trump told Hannity. “I don’t want to scare people. I want people not to panic, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Trump also called out his Democratic opponent for his slow-witted response to the outbreak. “If you look at the representatives of Joe Biden, you see what they were saying. They were saying ‘no problem’, ‘this won’t be a problem,'” Trump said. “He didn’t think it was going to be a problem until months later. He was way late.”
The president also attacked the left for resisting his moves to contain the virus. “Nobody wanted me to do the ban on China, and as you know, shortly thereafter, I [instituted] a ban on [travel from] Europe, and that was even more controversial, and it was good, because I saw what was going on in Italy and in Spain and in France, and we did a ban there,” said Trump. “And if we didn’t do those bans, we would have had numbers that were much, much [worse].”
President Trump defends his comments to Bob Woodward about downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he “had to show calm” and “the last thing we can show is panic or excitement or fear” https://t.co/72jhid0AL5 pic.twitter.com/7Y5p3OreLi
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 9, 2020
Trump dismissed Woodward as an author of “hit jobs” in a Wednesday night media session. The president also said he didn’t expect his upcoming book to be very good. “He does hit jobs with everybody, he even did it on Obama … constant hit jobs. On [George W.] Bush, I guess, they did three books, they were all terrible,” said Trump.
President Trump also defended his decision to meet with Woodward for interviews. “I figured, you know, ‘Let’s give it a little shot, I’ll speak to him.’ It wasn’t a big deal,” said Trump. He then added: “I don’t know if the book is good or bad, I have no idea. I probably, almost definitely won’t read it because I don’t have time to read it. But I gave it a little bit of a shot, sounds like it’s not going to be good.”
It’s hardly a coincidence that Woodward had these tapes since the Spring and sat on them until a week before his book was scheduled to be released. It’s also convenient he decided to release them around the same time President Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the U.A.E.-Israel peace deal. The media was more than willing to run with the Woodward hit job over the Nobel Prize story because they don’t want to put anything out there that casts Trump in a favorable light, especially so close to Election Day.
It’s hardly a surprise that the Woodward story is getting so much attention from the liberal media given their unabashed hatred of the president. However, this so-called controversy is hardly noteworthy. To many, the story seems like another weak-handed attempt to manufacture outrage against the president ahead of Election Day.