Trump tells town hall he ‘up-played’ the coronavirus pandemic

Despite recordings in which he admitted downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19 early on, the president defended his response to the crisis.

9/16/2020 2:30:00 PM

Trump claimed on Tuesday to have “up-played” the threat of coronavirus early in the pandemic, contradicting his own remarks to Bob Woodward that he wanted to minimize the disease to avoid panic

Despite recordings in which he admitted downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19 early on, the president defended his response to the crisis.

President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday to have “up-played” the threat of coronavirus early in the pandemic, contradicting his own remarks to the journalist Bob Woodward that he wanted to minimize the disease to avoid panic.Speaking at an ABC News town hall moderated by George Stephanopoulos, Trump rebutted a student who asked why he had downplayed “a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities.” Trump defended his response to the health crisis by citing an early travel ban on foreign nationals from China from entering the U.S. in order to curb the spread of the virus.

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Advertisement“Well, I didn’t downplay it,” the president responded. “I actually, in many ways, I up-played in terms of action. My action was very strong.”The student interjected: “Did you not admit to it yourself?”“With China, I put a ban on. With Europe, I put a ban on. We would have lost thousands of more people had I not put the ban on,” Trump said. “We did a very, very good job when we put that ban on — whether you call it talent or luck, it was very important.”

Back in February, Trump admitted to Woodward that he wanted to minimize the threat posed by coronavirus to avoid panic, even though he acknowledged to the veteran Washington Post journalist the lethal effects of the virus and easy contagion. The Post earlier this month

published excerpts from recordingsof more than a dozen interviews between the two.Since February, Trump has publicly cast doubt on recommendations from his own health experts, comparing the disease to the seasonal flu. For months, he declined to wear a mask in public events and has recently restarted campaign rallies in enclosed spaces — much to health experts’ chagrin.

Trump has also called for reopening vast swaths of the country, contending that keeping people in lockdown was a greater risk than the virus that has claimed the lives of almost 200,000 people in the U.S. The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and Latino Americans.

Trump’s pivot to his early travel ban from China and parts of Europe has become his default defense when faced with criticism of his coronavirus response. When pressed by Stephanopoulos on whether he regretted any part of his handling of the pandemic, Trump said: “No. I think we did a great job.“

Another town hall participant confronted Trump on his “Make America Great Again” motto, pointing out that for many African Americans who have historically faced injustices because of racism, “we cannot identify with such greatness.” He confronted the president for declining to acknowledge that there is a “race problem in America,” a remark that caused the president to pause.

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“Well, I hope there’s not a race problem,” Trump said. “I can tell you there’s none with me, because I have great respect for all races.”Trump then repeated familiar lines on race issues, saying that under his administration, African Americans have had the lowest unemployments rates in history.

Both the participant and Stephanopoulos pointed out that income inequality has been growing during his presidency, and that many Black workers have been earning less than a living wage. But Trump refused to concede the point, blaming the coronavirus pandemic for the growing inequality.

“Had we not been hit by this horrible disease that came into our land, and all over the world by the way,” Trump said, “we would be in a position where I think income inequality would be different. It was really getting there. We were really driving it down.”

The presidentalso responded to questions on police reform, particularly in light of anti-racism protests that have sprung up in cities across the nation following numerous high-profile episodes of police brutality this year. Trump squarely repeated his platform of support for the police, excoriating what he called “Democrat cities“ for not standing by their law enforcement agencies.

Trump has often dismissed violent clashes between protesters and police in several large cities as the fault of local leadership, deriding officials in Chicago, New York and Portland, Ore. After a string of attacks against the large cities during his town hall, Stephanopoulos reminded Trump that he was president of the entire country — including its blue urban centers.

“Why do you keep talking about Democrat states, Democrat states?“ Stephanopoulos said. “They‘re American states, American states.““They have things that the Republicans don't have,” Trump responded. “So they are — I mean, I don‘t want to say — look, I‘m the president of everybody, but — I don‘t want to say it, but they‘re Democrat-run cities. It is what it is.“

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President Donald Trump took questions from uncommitted voters in Philadelphia in a 90-minute town hall special hosted by ABC News.

Dude is a train wreck. For the love of Pete.... So it is possible to be on both sides of an issue and lie both times? He meant to say 'upskirted.' any lie, any time. So which of realDonaldTrump's lies does he expect us to believe? That he down-played it but didn't, or that he up-played it but didn't? Dumb as a bag of rocks that asshole, so bent the pictures hanging on his wall hang crooked all by themselves.

Is “up-played” even a word? '...and this is an outright lie.' Fixed what you left out of your headline. 😡😡😡 He lies on national tv. How do you feel about your leader? JOE BIDEN---UNFIT TO LEAD AMERICA If you’re tired of listening to the same old lies, if you’re tired of the corruption that runs rampant through the White House. If you’re tired of the republican party enabling a man to destroy America. Get out and vote and vote the Republicans grim reaper party out.

the only thing he up play was the American people with his BULLSHIT LIES He is hiding the every day death. Trump is a liar. Yes, he demonstrated that although he can control his lunatic outbursts, he can't control his delusional lies. Educate yourself. Listening to lies is unworthy. Well isn’t THAT a surprise? HELL NO IT’S NOT! All he ever does is LIE! TrumpIsALiar TrumpIsANationalDisgrace

Trump is President Opposite. Up is down, left is right, lies are the truth, protecting pre existing conditions means no protection and downplaying is now apparently 'up playing' etc. Typical snake oil salesman shtick. I only listen to what he says to know he will do the opposite. Up Played..Down Played. He played us.

If you watched the briefing you were well informed . No one knew how vontagious it was in February. They discussed who was at risk up-played bar boozer BULL Up-played “action,” downplayed rhetoric. Get it right, stop misleading your readers. This was incredibly bad..do they want him to lose? The man is no match for any average voter seeking an answer. No FOX ding dong to help & enable. To call it a stinking pile would be an upgrade. DumpsterFire

He’s about to fall forward 😂😂😂😂 Was he ever the brightest guy in the room ? He is a case study in feckless, weak and incompetent leadership. People are now needlessly dead and unemployed due to his incompetence. The office of the President has been turned into a bad joke Trump is a salesman. He'll tell you he's the greatest president in history on literally every topic with nothing to back up the claim. For instance, saying he up-played COVID-19 when he consistently pushed back on lockdown efforts and hawked unfounded cure-alls during newscasts.

He said in many ways I up played it with the actions I took not words actions... he’s right The fact that he didn’t panic a nation of 330 million people with little information on a new virus isn’t wrong When Trump banned flights from China on January 31st was Trump down playing or up playing the virus ? March 11th when Trump banned flights from europe was Trump down playing or up playing the virus ? Are these grounded US Delta Airplanes down playing or up playing the virus?

“Up-played” “Down-played” Americans are getting PLAYED. No more games. Vote Trump out in November No one but Trump's remaining supporters believes anything he says. Trump is a big, fat, ball of lies. Maher48Hours Because he's a big talker who fails. Then comes back later and says he didn't say what every camera and microphone caught him saying 🤦

Trump is the embodiment of contradictions, he's a walking contradiction. He stood in front of that voter and lied repeatedly. Because he's a liar. Always will be If you heard what he said then you know this headline is intentionally false. Did he down-played it before he up-played it or versa? His need to deny what he knows he said and lie about it is so constrained by his childishly limited vocabulary and two-dimensional ability to conceptualize that the best spin he can put on it is to say 'up-played'. This may be the first time anyone's made such a construction.

The sad thing is Trumper's heard it with their own ears and STILL believe his done a great job. The Cult is highly uneducated 😒 What President Trump said and people don't seem to understand. Is that he up played his action on the virus and downplayed the verbiage to not panic people. Does he even know what sticking to a story is?

His actions DID up-play (travel ban) and was called Xenophobic by Biden and Trump also kept people calm. Fix your headline: its currently FakeNews Eh, Trump is right. I know you have the Woodward audio from a long time ago. But, as Expert Fauci said, Trump didn't downplay in public. I know this is all you, as Biden's Campaign staff, has to grasp. I mean, nobody even tries to defend Biden at this point.

The dude is a walking lie. In a way, realDonaldTrump *almost* tells the truth, because you can take whatever he says and the exact opposite will be what really happened liarliar Bob Woodward knows...he has Trump recorded saying he downplayed the pandemic and now nearly 200,000 Americans are dead with no end in sight.

Uh, he’s a liar Who stands like this? How is he upright AND leaning? 🤡🤡 Does he know which way is up or down 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ Is he even capable of telling the truth? Articulate devil. Why does he stand that way? TrumpLiedAmericansDied And now, he is side-playing it! Trump lives aim a fairy tail made of lies

Trump administration has not paid USPS for COVID-19 postcards featuring Trump's nameThe bill for the postcards sent to 138 million residential addresses has still not been paid, a USPS spokesperson said. Just par for the course... so to speak.... he has never paid any of his bills.. he has ALWAYS screwed companies out of what he owes them Yall act like he is known for Paying lmao 😂

Trump administration has not paid USPS for COVID-19 postcards featuring Trump's nameThe bill for the postcards sent to 138 million residential addresses has still not been paid, a USPS spokesperson said. But duh, keeping with character. That seems to be a trend with trump - do work, don’t get paid, sued, countersuit, tied up in court for years - but hey, if he doesn’t have to pay it works for him. He doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about anyone else. That and the US Gov’t is now Fred Trump bankrolling the grifter d. trump thinks he owns America and everything is his !

Trump Administration Has Yet To Pay USPS For COVID-19 Postcard Issued In MarchThe postcard featured 'PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES FOR AMERICA' — despite the president downplaying COVID-19 at the time. 😭😭😭😭 If Obama had done this, it wouldn't be news worthy because hes a democrat. ProjectLincoln

Trump Audio Shows He Freaked Out Over A Sneeze Even As He Downplayed COVID-19In an appearance on 'The Late Show,' Bob Woodward shared a new recording that revealed the president's private alarm over the virus. Don't care. Trump2020 Doesn't that mean Woodward knew and kept the secret until he released his book? Maybe he should have blown the whistle if it's so dangerous?

Trump falsely claims he 'up-played' COVID-19 crisis in ABC town hall - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. Bob Woodward reveals 'extraordinarily shocking' audio of Trump on 'The Late Show' I think he's a compulsive liar. He **has** to look good at all costs, therefore he's always going to lie to look good if given the opportunity. The only things Trump up-played are his intelligence, his competence, his integrity, and his mental stability.

Trump Speaks About COVID-19 Response at Town Hall, Dismisses Voter QuestionsThe President again reiterated his belief that the U.S. has 'more cases because we do more testing,' a claim has repeatedly been flagged as incorrect by experts. Donald Trump downplayed coronavirus risk to reduce panic. How about a real description. Trump lied on every answer he gave to questions at the Presidential Town Hall. He made things up, embellished and he lied through most of it and did not directly answer the questions. A straight answer never happened once. I bet he told 25 lies. He could care less and believes in nothing but money for himself and power for himself and republicans .