President Donald Trump "knowingly betrayed the American people" by downplaying the coronavirus' effects and reach, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said Wednesday.
"Donald Trump knowingly betrayed the American people," she tweeted along with a link to Joe Biden's post calling Trump's actions a "life or death betrayal of the American people."
"His refusal to act cost 190,000 Americans their lives, and tens of millions their livelihoods. He is unfit to be president. We must vote him out in November."
Trump in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward admitted to deliberately minimizing the seriousness of COVID-19 to the public despite understanding its true danger.
"I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over COVID-19 days earlier. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."
CNN obtained the audio of Woodward's interview with Trump ahead of the release of Woodward's book, "Rage."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, backed Trump during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News, telling viewers that he did not believe the president "distorted things that I spoke to him about."
"I don't think he said much different than what we said [to him] when we were in the Oval Office," he said.
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