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Trump’s lies worsened the pandemic | READER COMMENTARY

President Donald Trump speaks at a reelection campaign rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2020. He acknowledged to the journalist Bob Woodward that he knowingly played down the coronavirus earlier this year even though he was aware it was "deadly" and vastly more serious than the seasonal flu.
President Donald Trump speaks at a reelection campaign rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2020. He acknowledged to the journalist Bob Woodward that he knowingly played down the coronavirus earlier this year even though he was aware it was "deadly" and vastly more serious than the seasonal flu. (Doug Mills / The New York Times)

“I wanted to always play it down," President Donald Trump recently said of his early approach to informing the public about the coronavirus. "I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”

The problem with this, of course, is that not enough preventive action took place and thousands of people became ill and many of them died unnecessarily. Many people believed President Trump and treated the threat as nothing more than the common cold (“President Trump revels in crowd of several thousands at Michigan rally amid Woodward book fallout,” Sept. 10).

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And then as evidence mounted to the contrary, the issue evolved to a political one: either support the president or support the health professionals and act accordingly. This set up a false narrative of us against them and people, all of us, suffered way out of proportion to what we should have. Ultimately, his “thoughtfulness” in trying to avoid “panic” created a much bigger crisis than was necessary.

Jim Pettit, Baltimore

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