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Trump’s lies about pandemic cost American lives | READER COMMENTARY

President Donald Trump announces his list of potential Supreme Court nominees in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on September 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. President Trump also fielded questions about the coronavirus and Bob Woodward's new book about him.
President Donald Trump announces his list of potential Supreme Court nominees in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on September 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. President Trump also fielded questions about the coronavirus and Bob Woodward's new book about him. (TNS)

In February, President Donald Trump told Bob Woodward that the coronavirus is five times worse than the seasonal flu, is airborne and is quite deadly. At his next public appearance, he reported that it is simply like a flu that will soon “just disappear” (“Trump’s many lies are no longer a shock,” Sept. 14). When he was confronted with this disparate messaging, he said that he rightly did what he had to in order to maintain calm. Note that he never told Mr. Woodward nor anyone else that maintaining calm was his goal until he was accused of lying to the public. He said that it would not have been appropriate to jump up and down yelling, “Everyone is going to die."

I haven’t seen anyone in the media call him on the fact that there is quite a bit of daylight between keeping calm and screaming that we’re all going to die. He could have calmly stated that we are learning a lot about the virus. He could have and should have stated that what we knew at that moment was that we should maintain social distance and wear masks to stay safe and reduce transmission as much as possible. He should have encouraged the public to listen to the medical experts and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

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President Trump also could have and should have instituted national programs for testing, procurement of personal protective equipment, ventilators, etc. Instead, he lied repeatedly and, in his own words, downplayed the seriousness and deadliness of this pandemic to the harm and enormous detriment to millions of people.

Claire Hoffman, Lutherville

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