President Donald Trump told Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year that he wasn’t worried about contracting COVID-19. “I’m just not,” he said in a newly released audiotape of the interview obtained by CNN.
Now Trump’s being treated for the coronavirus at Walter Reed Hospital.
In an April 13 interview for his book “Rage,” Woodward asked the president about his fears of contracting the disease.
“You’re risking getting it, of course,” Woodward warned him in the recorded interview. “The way you move around and have those briefings and deal with people. Are you worried about that?”
“No, I’m not,” said Trump. “I don’t know why I’m not. I’m not.”
Yet Woodward pressed him: “Why?”
Trump responded: “I don’t know. I’m just not.”
In a strange disconnect, the president had also described the coronavirus to Woodward as “deadly stuff,” a “plague” that “rips you apart,” a “scourge” and a “monster.” He warned Woodward that the virus is “so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it.”
“It moves rapidly, Bob,” Trump said in an earlier tape. “It moves rapidly and viciously. If you’re the wrong person and if it gets you, your life is pretty much over if you’re in the wrong group. You know what I mean. It’s a tough deal.”
But he also admitted to Woodward that he had been downplaying the danger of the virus to Americans.
“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward in March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”