Trump Didn't Want to "Panic" Americans about COVID: Book

U.S. citizens ought not to have been freaked out by the onset of the coronavirus last spring. Their president wanted to see to it.

The latest from a new book by reporter Bob Woodward says Donald Trump admitted that he wanted to publicly downplay the threat of the coronavirus even as his advisors warned him about the dangers of the disease.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward in mid March, CNN reported. "I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic."

CNN, with whom Trump has had a running battle even before he was sworn in, also published audio of Woodward’s March 19 interview with the president. The network reported Woodward writing that Trump had been informed weeks before COVID-19 claimed its first lives in the U.S. that the virus was dangerous and highly contagious.

"Rage," Woodward’s second book on Trump’s presidency, is due out this coming Tuesday.