President Trump was interviewed earlier this year by journalist Bob Woodward, and The Washington Post has published excerpts from a few of the 18 interviews, which are to form the basis of his book “Rage” that is due for release on December 15.
At the beginning of February, the president had told Woodward that the CCP Virus was “deadly stuff,” but publicly compared it to the flu that seasonally came around.
One month later, he told Woodward that he “wanted always to play it [the virus] down. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump added at the time, reports Fox News.
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the president spoke to Sean Hannity from Fox News and defended the comments he had made to Woodward about the CCP Virus that has now become a worldwide pandemic. He said he had wanted to “show a calmness,” when the virus hit. “I’m the leader of the country, I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people,” President Trump told host Hannity.
“I don’t want to scare people. I want people not to panic, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Speaking to Hannity about Woodward’s forthcoming book, the president said: “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.”
The president continued, “so I figured, you know, ‘Let’s give it a little shot, I’ll speak to him.’ It wasn’t a big deal, I speak to him and let’s see. 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.”
The president also defended his early reaction to placing a travel ban on China after the virus began to infect Wuhan people, even though he was harshly criticized for it. “It was China’s fault, they sent this to us, and it’s no good.”
The president continued: “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,'” the president told Hannity. “He didn’t think it was going to be a problem until months later. He was way late.
“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,” Trump said.
“And if we didn’t do those bans, we would have had numbers that were much, much [worse].” “We could have lost two million; two and a half million, maybe even more than that if we did it a different way.”
The Trump administration had announced on January 31 that there would be restrictions on travelers coming into the United States from China, in an effort to stop or slow the spread of the CCP Virus from Wuhan. That was ten days after the first case of the CCP Virus was identified in Wuhan.
“Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan,” the U.S. State Department said.
Reaction from China and the Democrats was swift and harsh.
The president was accused of overreacting and being racist in his actions, which were aimed at protecting the American people.
Hua Chunying, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called the restrictions “truly mean,” and defended the World Health Organization recommendations. “The World Health Organization urged countries to avoid travel restrictions, but very soon after that, the United States did the opposite.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also criticized the president, tweeting on March 12, “A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe—or any other part of the world—will not stop it.”
Biden’s criticism came after he had attacked the president’s decision to restrict travel to China earlier during a campaign speech, saying, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia … and fear-mongering.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked on March 12 if the travel ban was appropriate.
“It was the right public health call. … If you look back early on, Chinese travelers who were infected, seeded not only the United States but countries in Europe, including Italy.”
To be remembered for swift and decisive action is the hallmark of a true leader.