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Biden Attacks Trump Over 'playing Down' Covid-19 Risk

trumpjoebiden sept10 lt

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attacked his Republican rival over a quote by renowned journalist Bob Woodward in his book about Trump's admission of downplaying the risk of coronavirus.

In an interview the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist had with Trump in March, the President acknowledged that he was deliberately minimizing the severity of the outbreak. "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

In his upcoming book, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward quoted Trump as saying in early February, before the first US death was confirmed, "You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed … It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu."

A few weeks later Trump publicly implied that flu was more dangerous than coronavirus.

The book titled "Rage", based on 18 audio interviews recorded by Woodward, is due to be published on September 15.

After the details of the controversial comments emerged, Biden said if Trump had acted just two weeks earlier, 54,000 lives could have been spared in March and April alone.

"Instead, he downplayed the threat and refused to take action — costing lives and sending our economy into a tailspin," the former Vice President said in an early Thursday morning tweet. "It's an unjustifiable dereliction of duty," according to him.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted the President has "never lied to the American public on Covid."

"At a time when you're facing insurmountable challenges, it's important to express confidence, it's important to express calm," she told reporters at a routine press briefing. "That is what leaders do, and that's what President Trump does," she added.

Trump responded to the controversy on Twitter. "For years Fake stories and investigations, then the phony Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, next Ukraine and the failed Impeachment, now the crummy Atlantic Magazine's MADE UP STORY, and lastly, the political hit job by rapidly fading Bob Woodward and his boring book. It never ends."

The total number of COVID infections in the United States rose to 63,62,440 as per Johns Hopkins University's latest update Thursday. The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 190873 people in the country.

Global COVID deaths crossed 900,000.

India is breaking records in new Covid-19 infections these days. 95,735 new cases were diagnosed in the country in a single day.

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