President Trump Admits to Downplaying Covid-19 Numbers


Natalie Abrahantes

President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most highly criticized points of his presidency, especially following newly released evidence that he may have downplayed its severity.

Isabel Donner, Staff Writer

Since the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in the United States, President Trump has been criticized for being dismissive of the facts surrounding the virus. Last Wednesday, Sept. 9, it was revealed that he had admitted to intentionally downplaying the magnitude of the pandemic sweeping the nation and world. His statements have come with much criticism and speculation over what could have occurred with this pandemic had he taken the proper measures and precautions.

This revelation comes with the publication of “Rage” by Bob Woodward, which analyzes several points of contention that have risen in the past two years of Trump’s presidency, and the interviews conducted for the book. The president was willing to answer questions because he believed that being upfront would improve his image.

In these interviews, the president acknowledges several of the factors that have made this virus so difficult to deal with, such as how easy it is to contract; “you just breathe the air,” he said. However, throughout the duration of this pandemic, he has either tried to lie about these facts or not bring them up at all- he has even gone as far as calling the CoronaVirus a “hoax”.

For instance, in interviews, the president marveled at the finding that young people could also come down with the illness, not just the elderly. However, in press conferences he claimed that the young were “virtually immune” to it. Another example of his understating came to light when, in interviews, the president recognized this pandemic as more detrimental than any normal flu. But when asked later, for weeks he told Americans that this virus would be as inconsequential as influenza and would pass soon.

In addition to misleading the public, President Trump publicly ignored the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, such as wearing a mask and socially distancing from others despite knowing this virus was contagious and dangerous. This not only put those around him in danger, but it also set a bad example for those who look up to him as their leader. Furthermore, he encouraged the premature reopening of several states and criticized governors that did not comply, pressuring officials to make ill-advised decisions.

“I heard the recording of him saying he downplayed the severity of Covid. I wasn’t surprised since he lies all the time and has no sympathy,” sophomore Francesca Rico said.

The commander-in-chief has tried to explain his actions, his main excuse being that he did not want to cause a “panic” or a “frenzy” among the public. The president stated that it is his job, as leader of the United States, to “show confidence” in order to maintain order and prevent hysteria. Unsurprisingly, several republican officials have come forward to defend and praise the president’s decision to attempt to maintain peace. Most recently, on Tuesday Sept. 15, Trump did a full 180 and said that he “up-played” the virus. He claimed that by stopping flights to China in January, he did enough to help the American people.

Of course, this lack of transparency has several impactful consequences. Had the president taken greater precautions in stopping the spread of the virus, it is possible that more people would have quarantined and taken other preventative measures, such as wearing masks. If this had happened, many of the 190 thousand deaths related to the COVID-19 in the United States that have unfortunately occurred thus far could have been prevented.

Trump is also suffering the consequences of his own dishonesty. His advisors consider his management of the pandemic one of his biggest flaws, and it is probable that Democrats will use it against him in the upcoming election. The president’s confession has garnered much criticism from the opposition. Joe Biden has described his opponent’s behavior as a “life and death betrayal of the American people.”

“Trump was really wrong to have lied about Covid. Things probably would have been really different now if he hadn’t,” sophomore Beatriz Cruz said.

These newly released interviews prove the president has not been completely open with the American public. As much as he may try to explain his reasons, nothing can be done to change what havoc Covid has wreaked up to this point. It leads one to wonder what could have been of this pandemic had President Trump shared the information he knew to be true with the citizens of the United States.