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Trump’s Deceptive Comparison of the Coronavirus to the Flu

A new book by journalist Bob Woodward shows that President Donald Trump sought to downplay the seriousness of the novel coronavirus despite the fact that he knew just how dangerous it was.

One way he did that was to liken the coronavirus to the flu, even though he told Woodward in early February that the coronavirus was far more lethal. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump misleadingly contrasted the total deaths of an entire flu season with very preliminary numbers for the coronavirus.

In a Jan. 28 intelligence briefing, Woodward writes in “Rage,” National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien told Trump that the virus would be the “biggest national security threat” he would face.

In taped interviews, Trump underscored to Woodward just how deadly the disease could be. In a Feb. 7 conversation, Trump Woodward, “This is deadly stuff,” adding that it might be five times more lethal than the flu. Trump said, “It’s also more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous

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