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coronavirus in us


According to a new book, President Donald Trump knew Covid-19 was deadlier than the flu before it hit the US but wanted to play down the crisis.

Bob Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal and is one of the nation’s most respected journalists, interviewed President Trump 18 times from December to July.

President Trump is quoted as telling Bob Woodward the virus was “deadly stuff” before the first US death was confirmed.

Responding, Donald Trump said he had wanted to avoid causing public panic.

Some 190,000 Americans have been recorded as dying with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Donald Trump” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

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On September 9, some media released parts of the interviews between the president and the journalist, revealing his reported remarks on the outbreak as well as race and other issues.

Here are some of the key quotes so far from Rage, which will be released on September 15.

President Trump indicated that he knew more about the severity of the illness than he had said publicly.

According to a tape of the call, President Trump told Bob Woodward in February that the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu.

“It goes through the air,” President Trump told the author on February 7.

“That’s always tougher than the touch. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed.

“And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” 

Later that month, President Trump promised the virus was “very much under control”, and that the case count would soon be close to zero. He also publicly implied the flu was more dangerous than Covid-19.

Speaking on Capitol Hill on March 10, President Trump said: “Just stay calm. It will go away.”

Nine days later, days after the White House declared the pandemic a national emergency, the president told Bob Woodward: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Speaking from the White House on September 9, President Trump told reporters: “I don’t want people to be frightened, I don’t want to create panic, as you say, and 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.”

President Trump – who is running for re-election in November – said the Bob Woodward book was “a political hit job”.

Responding to reporters’ questions on the book, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: “The president never downplayed the virus, once again. The president expressed calm. The president was serious about this.”

In a tweet, Joe Biden said that “while a deadly disease ripped through our nation, [President Trump] failed to do his job – on purpose. It was a life or death betrayal of the American people”.

Image source Wikipedia

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that he supports sending money directly to Americans as part of a $1 trillion stimulus aimed at averting an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.

He said: “We’re looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately.”

The $250 billion in cheques are part of a huge aid package which the White House is discussing with Congress.

The move follows widespread school and store closures as the number of coronavirus cases in the US passes 5,200 people.

The US has been debating how to provide relief as activity grinds to a halt in response to curfews and other measures intended to slow the spread of the virus.

Details such as the size of the cheques, and who would qualify for them, are still under discussion.

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A $1 trillion aid package would be larger than the US response to the 2008 financial crisis, amounting to nearly a quarter of what the federal government spent last year.

In addition to the $250 billion in cheques for families, the plan includes a bailout for airlines and hotels, among other measures. The proposal must be approved by Congress to move forward.

Separate from the $1 trillion package, Steve Mnuchin said the government would also allow companies and individuals to delay their tax payments for 90 days.

He said: “We look forward to having bipartisan support to pass this legislation very quickly.”

President Donald Trump initially proposed a payroll tax cut, which would reduce the money the government automatically withholds from worker pay to pay for social programs.

However, critics said that relief would come too slowly and leave out those without jobs. Several high-profile economists had urged more direct assistance, including $1,000 payments, winning support from lawmakers such as Republican Senator Mitt Romney.

President Trump said he had come round to the view that faster, more direct relief is necessary.

He said: “With this invisible enemy, we don’t want people losing their jobs and not having money to live.”

The president added that he wanted to target the relief to those who need it.

Steven Mnuchin said he hoped to send the cheques within two weeks.

He said: “Americans need cash now and the president wants to give cash now and I mean now, in the next two weeks.”

Image source: Wikipedia

The US coronavirus emergency could last until the end of the summer or even longer, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on March 16.

The US has so far had 4,100 cases of the virus and 71 deaths.

The president said over the next 15 days, Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 people and avoid bars, restaurants, food courts and crowds.

Donald Trump said the US is facing “an invisible enemy” that is “so contagious”.

According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 174,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally and over 6,700 deaths.

Under the US coronavirus task force’s new guidelines, President Trump urged all older Americans to stay home.

Work and schooling should be at home.

Discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits should be avoided.

Anyone in a household who tests positive for the virus should stay at home along with everyone who lives there.

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Asked how long the emergency will last, President Trump said: “People are talking about July, August, something like that, so it could be right in that period of time where I say, it washes through.”

The president continued: “They think August, could be July, could be longer than that.”

He said he was not considering a national curfew or lockdown, though added: “We may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as they call them.”

President Trump said he had not yet decided to close the US-Canada border, but told reporters it was something the administration was considering.

He also addressed issues of testing, as the US has been criticized for lagging far behind smaller countries in getting tests out to the states.

Officials said on March 16 that a million tests were currently available and more would be coming this week.

“A lot of testing has been going on,” President Trump said, though he also noted that those without symptoms should not get the test.

“Not everybody should run out and get the test, but we’re able to handle tremendous numbers.”

Health officials also said they are due to add 30 million masks to the US supply and are shipping out gear and health workers to bolster local testing efforts.

Asked how he would score his administration’s response to the crisis on a scale of one to 10, President Trump said: “I’d rate it a 10. I think we’ve done a great job.”

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, who joined the president, issued an appeal directly to millennials, asking them to limit social contact.

She said: “They are the core people that will stop this virus.

“We really want people to be separated.”

Dr. Birx also warned against socializing even if people feel well.

She said: “We know that there is a large group of infected people who are asymptomatic, who continue to spread the virus.”

VP Mike Pence, who is leading the coronavirus taskforce, told reporters he had not been tested yet.

He said: “I’m in regular consultation with the White House physician and he said I’ve not been exposed to anyone for any period of time that has had the coronavirus and that my wife and I have had no symptoms.”


Three unexplained coronavirus cases in California, Oregon and Washington State raised concerns the virus could be spreading within the community, officials say.

The patients have no known connection to a badly hit country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 59 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the US.

On February 28, health officials in California’s Santa Clara County said an older woman with chronic health conditions had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

According to officials, the patient is not known to have traveled to a country badly affected by the coronavirus or been in contact with a person who had.

Dr. Sara Cody, director of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, said: “This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission but the extent is still not clear.”

Oregon health officials said a school employee in Clackamas County had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In Washington State, authorities said another case concerned a high school student in Snohomish County.

Neither had any contact with a known case nor any history of travel to an affected region.

These bring the total of unexplained cases in the country to four, after another such case was reported in California on February 25.

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The Democratic Party has criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the outbreak, arguing that he has contradicted his own health officials and tried to downplay the severity of the virus.

On February 28, President Trump hit back at Democrats, accusing them of politicizing the outbreak.

“This is their new hoax,” Donald Trump told a rally in South Carolina.

The president accused Democrats of advocating a policy of open borders and said this was “a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of all Americans”.

Earlier this week a patient who had no known connection with an affected region died in France.

On February 28, the WHO upgraded the global risk of the outbreak to its highest level.

However, it said there was still a chance of containing the new coronavirus if its chain of transmission was broken.

WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also stressed that fear and misinformation were the biggest challenges to overcome.

He tweeted: “Our greatest enemy right now is not the #coronavirus itself. It’s fear, rumors and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity.”

Meanwhile, South Korea, which has the highest number of cases outside China, mobilized the army on February 29.

Soldiers are disinfecting large parts of Daegu, the south-eastern city that has been at the center of South Korea’s coronavirus outbreak.

On February 29, South Korea reported a sharp rise in the number of cases of the Covid-19 disease. It now stands at 3,150.

The respiratory illness has killed 17 people in South Korea so far.

The spread of the virus there has been linked to the fringe Christian group Shincheonji Church.

Authorities believe members infected one another during services in Daegu and then fanned out around the country, apparently undetected.