Woodward: Trump Blew Chance to Warn About COVID

'Historians are going to be writing about the lost month of February for tens of years'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2020 7:00 PM CDT
Woodward: Trump Blew Chance to Warn About COVID
This cover image released by Simon & Schuster shows "Rage" by Bob Woodward.   (Simon & Schuster via AP)

Bob Woodward says that when he was researching new book Rage, he was shocked to realize that President Trump blew a major opportunity to warn the public about the pandemic. Woodward told NBC Monday that Trump was briefed on the virus threat Jan. 28, but failed to share the warnings a week later in his State of the Union address, which was watched by 40 million people. Woodward said "a lot more could have been done" if Trump, like FDR after Pearl Harbor, had told the truth to the public. "It is one of those shocks, for me, having written about nine presidents, that the president of the United States possessed the specific knowledge that could have saved lives, and historians are going to be writing about the lost month of February for tens of years," Woodward said.

Host Savannah Guthrie asked Woodward about his book's claim that restricting travel from China was Dr. Anthony Fauci's idea, not the president's, the Hill reports. “It's not that President Trump banned travel, people coming from China to the United States," Woodward said. "He restricted it, and as we now know, there were some problems and lots of people from China instead of coming to the United States went to Europe and then came into John F. Kennedy airport in New York, And that's why there was such a firestorm of a virus in New York City at that time.” Woodward also played an interview clip in which Trump, discussing his relationships with world leaders, said: "The tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them." (Woodward has defended his decision not to release Trump's virus remarks earlier.)

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