Trump plays defense saying he wanted to show ‘strength’, calm panic.
Indian American Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris joined a chorus of criticism against President Donald Trump for downplaying coronavirus threat in public even as he admitted its deadly nature in private.
Harris lashed out against Trump Friday after it came out that he told Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward in 18 interviews for his new book ‘Rage’ in February that it was “deadly stuff”.
Holding the president culpable for over 190,000 American deaths, she accused him of doing nothing even when he knew that the pandemic would endanger millions and would upend the economy.
“When Trump was saying young people couldn’t get coronavirus, he knew they could,” she tweeted.
“When Trump was saying it was the same as the flu, he knew it was deadlier.
“When Trump was purposely downplaying the severity, he knew it passed through the air. He knew,” the senator from California wrote.
“He deliberately misled the American people, because he thought it would look bad for him,” she said during a virtual fundraiser Thursday.
“These are real people, people with families, with plans, with dreams that have been taken from them in many cases, and, you know, obviously Donald Trump didn’t cause covid-19, but he has failed in his most basic duty, which is the duty of a leader, especially in a moment of crisis to not only protect, but to tell the truth.”
“This is just basically unforgivable for a president. And the reality is Americans are not going to stand for it,” she said.
Earlier at an event in Florida, Harris accused Trump of engaging “in reckless disregard of the lives and health and well being” of the American people. “I find it so outrageous,” she said.
“There are so many reasons why Joe Biden needs to be elected President of the United States,” Harris said. “And if those reasons did not make it clear why, this certainly does.”
Meanwhile, Trump Thursday defended his decision to downplay the coronavirus saying he needed to show “strength” in the face of the crisis.
“I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader, and I want to show our country is going to be fine one way or another,” Trump said at a news conference.
When asked why he didn’t alert the public sooner, Trump said: “I don’t want to jump up and down and start screaming, ‘Death! Death!’ ”
“People knew it was airborne,” he said, pointing to early reports out of China about the way the virus spread among people. “Everybody knew it was airborne.”
Trump: Kamala Harris ‘would be an insult’ as first woman president (September 9, 2020)