Social media is abuzz on Wednesday after it was reported that Trump told famed Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward on February 7 that COVID-19 was “more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”
This, critics of Trump say, is proof that Trump was downplaying the coronavirus publicly despite knowing it was a serious problem.
Trump’s critics have long claimed that the president downplayed the virus, falsely accusing him of calling the virus a hoax.
President Trump has previously noted he didn’t want to cause a panic. Barack Obama did the same thing during the H1N1 pandemic when he said the virus was “not a cause for alarm” just before 60.8 million Americans were infected by it.
But President Trump was actively protecting America from the coronavirus, even while Democrats were distracted by impeachment. At the end of January, President Trump issued his then-controversial travel ban with China. But back then it was the Democrats who weren’t taking the virus seriously, and Trump was accused of racism and xenophobia for that action.
After @realDonaldTrump banned travel with China because of COVID-19, @JoeBiden bashed the ban, saying, "this is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysterical xenophobia and fear-mongering."pic.twitter.com/Pt3qsT8Meh
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) September 9, 2020
“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to uh, and fearmongering,” Biden said after the ban was announced. Experts eventually admitted the travel ban worked and saved lives. Eventually, Joe Biden flip-flopped on the issue.
Biden will no doubt pounce on these allegations, forgetting the fact that at the very same time Trump was “downplaying” the coronavirus he was accusing Trump of “fearmongering.” It can’t be both.
On February 24, Nancy Pelosi infamously visited San Francisco’s Chinatown section and told Americans that “everything is fine,” and “all is well,” and encouraged Americans to shop and eat there. “Come to Chinatown,” she said. “We just want everybody not to be afraid to come to Chinatown.”
On February 24 there were 15 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the U.S.
Nancy Pelosi went to Chinatown & urged Americans to shop & eat there.
"Everything is fine," she said. "All is well."
"Come to Chinatown… We just want everybody not to be afraid to come to Chinatown." pic.twitter.com/SI9EELciYx
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 15, 2020
That same day, Pelosi expressed no complaints about the government’s response to the coronavirus, telling reporters, “I have confidence in Dr. Fauci at the National Institutes of Health, who has even further confidence in what we’re doing.”
But here’s where things get even more interesting. It wasn’t just Democrat politicians downplaying the virus, the nation’s most well-known public health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was also telling the public not to worry about the virus at the same time Trump was. And the White House Coronavirus Task Force was already meeting at that point.
Back in February, Dr. Fauci said the risk was “low for the American public.”
“Although we don’t want people to be worried now, I think we need to realize that this could change,” he said on February 18. “So right now, don’t worry about it, be more concerned about influenza…”
Later, on March 8, Dr. Fauci said people didn’t need to be wearing masks. “Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.”
So, clearly, once again we’ve got another coordinated bogus hit against Trump, which is largely a rehash of past criticisms that Trump “downplayed” the virus.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis