Back in February, Donald Trump sat down for one of eighteen interviews he had with famous journalist Bob Woodward. Woodward, most known for All The President’s Men and his five book series on the Iraq War, is someone who always makes his enemies tell the truth — even when they shouldn’t, and Trump is no exception.
On 3/19/2020, Trump told Woodward the following:
I wanted to always play [COVID-19] down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.
I feel like I should open with this — Donald Trump’s entire 2020 campaign has been based on panic. This is the President that has run ad after ad saying that if we elect Biden, the police (who will also arrest us all for minor drug offenses) will be defunded and we will all be unsafe.
What Donald Trump meant is he didn’t want to create panic around his about his administration. This also explains why Donald Trump downplayed COVID-19 time and time again, and made sure all his buddies did the same. Hey, anyone remember these quotes from around the same time?
No, the Coronavirus won’t become a pandemic. Not at all. —Donakd Trump, 1/22/2020
The Democrats are politicizing the Coronavirus. This is their new hoax. — President Donald Trump, 2/20/2020
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me! — Donald Trump, 2/24/2020
If — look, folks, it is what it is. The media wants it to be what it not yet is. Now, it could be, it could evolve, and who knows what it can — right now, the media is reporting on the coronavirus as they hope it evolves. They hope for hurricanes — on the first day of hurricane season, they hope for Hurricane Katrina so they can say “climate change,” anything to advance the leftist agenda. Now, the leftist agenda includes getting rid of Trump. They would love for the coronavirus to be this deadly strain that wipes everybody out, so they could blame Trump for it. — Radio Host Rush Limbaugh, 2/25/2020
We have contained this, I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight — National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, 2/25/2020
You’re gonna hear about the coronavirus all day long. The stock market, by the way, is trying to rebound from it. The stock market, last I saw, was up a couple or 300 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. So they want to come back from it. Everybody knows that there has been this gigantic overreaction to this, as there always is when the media and the Democrat political complex gets in gear, when they think they found something that can do great damage to Trump. — Radio Host Rush Limbaugh, 2/26/2020
You have 15 people with Coronavirus, and the 15 within a couple of day is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done. — President Donald Trump, 2/26/2020
One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax. —Donald Trump, 2/28/2020
While the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, can be scary, Americans should remember we’ve experienced other disease outbreaks that we not only managed but overcame. With each occurrence we learned and strengthened our preparedness for the next. Our history with these outbreaks gives us confidence that we have the knowledge, tools and talent to address COVID-19. — Surgeon General Jerome Adams, 3/3/2020
Alright, so that’s the point. I mean they’re scaring the living hell out of people. And I see it again as like oh, OK, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax. — Fox News Host Sean Hannity, 3/9/2020
So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that! — President Donald Trump, 3/9/2020
You know, watching the coverage of this and the ongoing effort to create a panic — and let’s make no mistake here that that’s exactly what is happening here — I finally came up with what I think is a good analogy. The coronavirus is like a hurricane several days away from making landfall. — Radio Host Rush Limbaugh, 3/10/2020
We’re shutting down our country because of the — the cold virus, which is what coronaviruses are. This is COVID-19, the 19th version of the coronavirus. We’re shutting it — can you imagine our enemies watching this? You think the Chinese are not laughing themselves silly over how easy this has been? And it continues. This has been easy. — Radio Host Rush Limbaugh, 3/13/2020
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Another interview, this time from 2/7/2020, shows him saying that the the illness is airborne and five times more deadly than the seasonal flu. Mind you, this contradicts various comments Trump made over the course of late February, where Trump said it was just as deadly as the seasonal flu.
You want to know where this religious idea that we’ll have a vaccine came from? Here’s Trump on 2/27/2020:
But that’s a little bit like the flu. It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.
Now, the administration exists that its much more dangerous then the flu, and Donald Trump just lied to all of us. This also opened the door to months worth of debate, hope, and possible authoritarianism — all to make people take something we might not even be able to make.
I figured its only fair I also address the argument that “Trump just didn’t want to start a panic.” Because when has Donald Trump ever played into fear?
When Mexico sends their people [to the US], they are not sending their best. They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime, they’re rapists. — 6/16/2015
Okay, fair point.
Donald Trump is known for nothing but causing panics: Panics about World War Three, Panics about the economy collapsing, Panics about how LGBT people would end up under his administration, and so on. Right now, he’s trying to get suburban Americans to panic that Biden will outlaw the suburbans (somehow) and also have crime explode under him due to his abolition of the police.
For that matter, who said panic is a bad thing all the time? Surely there are times where panic is appropriate. The definition of panic is simply:
sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety
Why is that not sometimes okay? Especially in the case of a massive pandemic involving an illness that the President admits is airborne and highly dangerous.
Do you know what opposition to the very idea of panic gets you?
Get on board. Do your business around the country. Fly and enjoy
America's great destination spots. Get down to Disney World in
Florida. Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be
enjoyed. — George W. Bush, 9/27/2001
This quote from George W. Bush, encouraging Americans to react to 9/11 by — not reacting, quickly grew infamous for its absurdity. However, this quote is actually much more defensible than what Trump has done. Bush was telling us to not let terrorism rule our lives, as doing so would basically be letting them win, and to instead live as normal purely to spite them. It had some logic behind it because terrorists really do what to create terror, however, a virus has no such logic behind it, and all “downplaying it” does is lead to more people getting hurt.
This is what Donald Trump did in order to “help” Americans, he downplayed an illness purely to make himself look good.