Sep 9, 2020
Donald Trump & Bob Woodward Covid Conversation Transcript: Trump ‘Playing it down’
President Donald Trump spoke with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward about coronavirus in February and March of this year. Trump spoke about the dangers of the virus in February. He said, “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” in reference to the virus in March. Read the transcript of the conversations.
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February 7, 2020
Bob Woodward: (00:00)
And so, what was President Xi saying yesterday?
Donald Trump: (00:05)
Oh, we were talking mostly about the virus, and I think he’s going to have it in good shape. But it’s a very tricky situation.
Bob Woodward: (00:14)
Indeed, it is.
Donald Trump: (00:16)
It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. 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 even your strenuous flus. People don’t realize, we lose 25,000, 30,000 people a year here. Who would ever think that, right?
Bob Woodward: (00:41)
I know. It’s much forgotten.
Donald Trump: (00:42)
It’s pretty amazing. And then I said, “Well, is that the same thing?”
Bob Woodward: (00:46)
What are you able to do for-
Donald Trump: (00:47)
This is more deadly. This is 5% versus 1%, and less than 1%. So this is deadly stuff.
March 19, 2020
Now it’s starting out it’s not just all people, Bob. But just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older-
Bob Woodward: (01:06)
Donald Trump: (01:06)
Young people too. Plenty of young people. We’re looking at what’s going on in-
Bob Woodward: (01:12)
So, give me a moment of talking to somebody, going through this with Fauci, or somebody who kind of… It caused a pivot in your mind, because it’s clear just from what’s on the public record, that you went through a pivot on this to, “Oh my God. The gravity is almost inexplicable and unexplainable.”
Donald Trump: (01:38)
Well, I think Bob, really, to be honest with you-
Bob Woodward: (01:40)
Sure. I want you to be.
Donald Trump: (01:44)
I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.