Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tore into President Donald Trump on Wednesday after Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward released audio recordings of Trump privately admitting back in early 2020 that COVID-19 was a serious threat and that he was downplaying it on purpose.
During a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, Biden said Trump had “knowingly and willingly lied” to the country.
“He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed do his job on purpose,” the former vice president told the audience. “It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.”
Biden also hit Trump on the economic damage brought on by the President’s “negligence” throughout the pandemic.
“It’s beyond despicable,” the Democratic candidate said. “It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace.”
Shortly before Biden was scheduled to give his speech, the Washington Post published a series of excerpts from “Rage,” Woodward’s upcoming book about Trump, along with several audio clips Woodward had recorded during his interviews with the President. The excerpts and recording revealed that Trump completely understood back in February that COVID-19 was “deadly stuff” when it first began to hit the U.S. – back when he repeatedly told the country that it wasn’t serious.
“It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu,” Trump told Woodward on February 7, the exact opposite of the talking point he and his allies at Fox News had been peddling at the time.
Then on March 19, Trump baldly admitted that he was artificially deflating the urgency of the pandemic.
“To be honest with you, I wanted to always play it down,” the President said in the interview. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Watch Biden below:
Biden says Trump privately acknowledging the danger of COVID-19 while downplaying it publicly was a "life-and-death betrayal of the American people." pic.twitter.com/6c0jkQpjHS
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 9, 2020