Democratic nominee Joe Biden tore into President Donald Trump for the revelations contained in Bob Woodward's forthcoming book: that he knew how serious COVID-19 was, while telling the American public something vastly different.
'He knew and purposely played it down,' an aghast Biden said Wednesday on a campaign trip to Michigan. 'Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months.'
In the CNN excerpts of the book, which include audio of Woodward's conversations with the president, Trump tells the journalist on February 7 that COVID-19 'goes through the air' and is 'more deadly' than the flu.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden went after President Donald Trump Wednesday for knowing just how dangerous the coronavirus was in February but downplaying it for months to the American people
Biden held a campaign event in Michigan that was supposed to be about preventing the offhosring of jobs, but he dedicated the top of his speech to the startling revelations found in Bob Woodward's forthcoming book
'So this is deadly stuff,' Trump adds, passing along information he had gotten the day before from China's President Xi Jinping.
A month and a half later, on March 19, Trump told Woodward he had been purposely downplaying the virus' seriousness.
'I wanted to always play it down,' Trump said. 'I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic.'
Cut to September and many of Trump's own supporters don't appreciate the seriousness, as the president has held mass gatherings over the last few weeks where fans huddle together in close confines and don't wear masks.
Biden, on the other hand, has showed an overabundance of caution while trying to spend more time out on the campaign trail after spending months Zooming into events from his Delaware basement.
At Biden's Michigan event Wednesday, attendees' chairs had circles around them, and they were instructed not to leave that space.
'Please remain in your circles and keep your mask on for the duration of the event,' an overheard announcement said.
During his speech, Biden said his mask was only off because he was able to properly social distance - and the event was held outside.
The Woodward book has Trump saying in his own words that he downplayed the threat of the coronavirus because he didn't want to start a 'panic.' To this day, many Trump supporters don't take the pandemic seriously, as they gather tightly at his campaign events with many not wearing masks
Biden began his speech, which he was reading from a teleprompter, to pause and explain to the press why he didn't initially answer a shouted question at the airport about the Woodward book.
'We found out just getting off the plane the press asked me a legitimate question that I did not