WASHINGTON, D.C. – With recent accusations within the pages of the upcoming book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward that President Donald Trump purposely “played down” the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in its earliest days – a claim that Trump didn’t want to create a panic – is causing a firestorm of controversy, but Trump has gained defense from an unlikely source – infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In his new book “Rage“ which was composed based on numerous interviews conducted with Trump, Woodward recently revealed taped excerpts where the president admitted that he had played down how serious the pandemic was in its earliest days. Publicly he compared COVID-19 to the seasonal flu and claimed that it would just “disappear”, but in interviews conducted with Woodward in early February Trump was quoted as saying that COVID was, in reality, “deadly stuff” and was perhaps as much as five times “more deadly” than the flu. He later admitted that he downplayed the threat of COVID when addressing the public in order to avoid creating a panic.
Many people were outraged as what they perceived as a major deception on Trump’s part, maintaining that if the president had been up-front with the public about the threat of COVID from the beginning, the U.S. death toll – which is fast approaching 200,000 – would not have been nearly as high.
However, despite the firestorm of criticism leveled at the president, one man in particular has unexpectedly come forward to offer a defense of sorts – the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who enjoys a high degree of public trust when it comes to the current pandemic.
In a news interview conducted recently on Fox’s “The Daily Briefing,” Fauci – head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – stated when asked that he “didn’t get any sense’ that Trump ‘was distorting anything'” about COVID-19 when addressing the public.
“I didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything. I mean in my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. And when he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things,” Fauci said. “He would often say, ‘We just got through with a briefing with the group from the task force,’ and would talk about it. So it may have happened, but I have not seen that kind of distortion.”
Woodward’s book “Rage“ – already a ‘#1 best seller on Amazon by pre-orders, is due to be released September 15, 2020.