Donald Trump blasts Biden for also downplaying COVID in February, maintains that he didn't want to 'jump around and scare people' by revealing the virus was 'deadly stuff' and calls Bob Woodward's book a 'hit job'

Donald Trump has accused Joe Biden of not taking COVID-19 seriously in February, telling Fox News that he himself was determined to 'show calmness' and not be 'jumping up and down and scaring people'.
Speaking to Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, by telephone from the White House, the president insisted that he had saved the country from the worst ravages of the coronavirus. 
He said Biden's team were publicly saying 'no problem'. 
'If you look at the representatives of Joe Biden, you see what they were saying,' Trump said. 
'They were saying 'no problem', 'this won't be a problem.'
'He didn't think it was going to be a problem until months later. He was way late.'
Donald Trump spoke by phone to Sean Hannity on Fox News on Wednesday night
Donald Trump spoke by phone to Sean Hannity on Fox News on Wednesday night
The president said Biden, pictured on Wednesday, had downplayed the virus
The president said Biden, pictured on Wednesday, had downplayed the virus
The president also mentioned Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, touring San Francisco's Chintown in late February in an apparent bid to ease fears about the virus.
'Nobody wanted me to do the ban on China, and as you know, shortly thereafter, I instituted a ban on Europe, and that was even more controversial, and it was good, because I saw what was going on in Italy and in Spain and in France, and we did a ban there,' Trump said. 
'And if we didn't do those bans, we would have had numbers that were much, much worse.' 
Trump has been accused in a new book by Bob Woodward of deliberately downplaying the threat of the virus, with devastating consequences. 
He told Hannity that that was part of a strategy to avoid panic. 
'We've had flu years when we lost 70, 80, 90,000 people - people don't realize that,'  he said. 'We could have lost 2 million, 2.5 million, if we did it a different way.
'But what I want to show is calmness.
'I'm the leader of the country. I don't want to be jumping up and down and scaring people. I don't want to scare people. I want people not to panic. And that's what I did.'
Hannity played a clip of Biden saying that 'it was not time to panic about coronavirus'
Hannity played a clip of Biden saying that 'it was not time to panic about coronavirus'
Sean Hannity spoke to Donald Trump on Wednesday night on Fox News
Sean Hannity spoke to Donald Trump on Wednesday night on Fox News
The president's day was dominated by the fallout from the leaks of Woodward's book, Rage - a sequel to his first book on Trump, Fear, published in 2018.
Asked by Hannity why he agreed to sit for 18 interviews with the famed Watergate reporter, Trump said he thought he'd 'give it a shot'.
'He called,' Trump explained. 

'I didn't participate in his last one, and he does hit jobs with everybody. He even did it on Obama.
'So, I figured you know let's just give it a little shot. I'll speak to him, wasn't a big deal.'
The president said he was unlikely to read the book, insisting he'd be too busy. 
'I don't know if the book is good or bad. I have no idea,' he said. 
'Probably - almost definitely won't read it, because I don't have time to read it. 
'But I gave it a little bit of a shot. Sounds like it's not going to be good.'
Trump, pictured on Wednesday, told Hannity that he was unlikely to read Woodward's book
Trump, pictured on Wednesday, told Hannity that he was unlikely to read Woodward's book
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump admitted he downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in order not to cause panic after excerpts from the book were published.
Woodward writes that Trump knew how deadly the pandemic could be even as he said it would go away. 
'I'm a cheerleader for this country. I love this country. I don't want people to be frightened. I don't want to create panic,' he told reporters at the White House. 
'Certainly I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We want to show strength, we want to show strength as a nation. That's what I've done,' he added
'Leadership is about confidence. Confidence is confidence in our country,' he noted. 
In recorded interviews that were revealed Wednesday afternoon, Trump – who regularly speaks of his disdain for much of the 'fake news' media – spoke liberally with Woodward about his inner-thoughts on the virus and private conversations with Kim Jong-un – despite having called an earlier Woodward book a 'con on the public.'
'This is deadly stuff,' the president told the veteran reporter, who has interviewed U.S. presidents going back to Nixon.  
'I don't want to create panic' says Trump on Woodward tapes
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President Donald Trump admitted he downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in order not to cause panic
President Donald Trump admitted he downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in order not to cause panic

Trump didn't deny the comments - he has previously blasted stories he doesn't like as 'fake news' - but offered an explanation instead. 
'We don't want to instill panic. We don't want to jump up and down and start shouting that we have a problem that is a tremendous problem, scare everybody,' the president explained when asked about the discrepancy between the remarks he made to Woodward and the remarks he made in public at the time. 
And when asked by DailyMail.com how the American people could trust what he says going forward, Trump said: 'It's a big part of trust. We have to have leadership, show leadership. The last thing you want to do is create a panic.'
He said repeatedly his public statements in February downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, which has taken 200,000 American lives to date and counting, was to avoid causing chaos and confusion.
'We don't want to have to show panic. We're not going to show panic. That's what I did,' he said. 
And he called the book - the latest in a series of books painting his administration in a poor light 'another political hit job.'
'Whether it was Woodward or anybody else, you cannot show a sense of panic or you're going to have bigger problems,' the president said. 
The president shared his stark assessment with Woodward in recorded phone interviews in February, as the virus was spreading from China to other parts of the world. 
'You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed,' Trump told him in a Feb. 7 call. 
'And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.'
Trump had been briefed on the virus in the Oval Office Jan. 28th, as Washington Post excerpts describe. 
National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien warned him: 'This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,' according to Woodward.
O'Brien's deputy, Matthew Pottinger, warned the threat was akin to the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed 50 million worldwide.
Trump's head 'popped up,' at the 'jarring' warning.
But in public it was an entirely different story. After the briefing he was he was telling the nation the virus is 'going to disappear' and would 'all work out fine.' 
Trump told the nation Jan. 30: 'We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.' 
He told the nation Feb. 2: 'Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China.' 
Feb. 7 – the date of the Woodward call – is the same date Trump tweeted about China's president: 'Nothing is easy, but [Chinese President Xi Jinping] … will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.'
Trump continued: 'Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!' 
Trump then told Woodward in a March 19 interview explaining his comments: 'I wanted to always play it down.' 
'I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic,' he said. 
Kayleigh McEnany says Trump never downplayed COVID-19 pandemic
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Bob Woodward interviewed the president as the virus was raging
Bob Woodward interviewed the president as the virus was raging
Don't panic: This was the scene inside a makeshift morgue outside Wyckoff Hospital a in the Brooklyn borough of New York  on April 4, 2020.
Don't panic: This was the scene inside a makeshift morgue outside Wyckoff Hospital a in the Brooklyn borough of New York  on April 4, 2020.
Trump spoke to Woodward about his conversations with China's President Xi Jinping as the pandemic unfolded
Trump spoke to Woodward about his conversations with China's President Xi Jinping as the pandemic unfolded
Donald Trump blasts Biden for also downplaying COVID in February, maintains that he didn't want to 'jump around and scare people' by revealing the virus was 'deadly stuff' and calls Bob Woodward's book a 'hit job' Donald Trump blasts Biden for also downplaying COVID in February, maintains that he didn't want to 'jump around and scare people' by revealing the virus was 'deadly stuff' and calls Bob Woodward's book a 'hit job' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:00 Rating: 5

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