Trump’s COVID denial will damage his campaign

Alyssa Endres, Contributing Writer

Last week, an audio clip from a March 19 interview between investigative journalist Bob Woodward and U.S. President Donald Trump went viral. In the leaked clip, Trump states, “I’ve always wanted to play [COVID-19] down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” It comes as quite a shock to some, while others are not as surprised, that Trump wanted to cover up the severity of the virus to the public.

Trump has claimed numerous times throughout his presidency that he has never lied to the American people. Therefore, this leaked statement on his response to the coronavirus pandemic has raised even more questions regarding Trump’s honesty.

Many have disapproved of Trump’s handling of COVID-19, perhaps one of the most prominent people being Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Fauci said that Trump downplaying the threat of the coronavirus was, ultimately, “not a good thing.” He went on to say, “There were times I was out there telling the American public this is — how we’re having a really serious problem, you know — and the president was saying it’s something that’s going to disappear, which obviously is not the case.” As the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Fauci certainly holds authority in this area, and his opinion should be prioritized in this particular circumstance. The leaked audio served as evidence that Trump could have taken the virus more seriously, and perhaps by doing so, could also have prevented the now 191,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States.

This audio leak undoubtedly has negative implications for the Trump re-election campaign. Many previous Trump supporters from the 2016 election that have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States will most likely reconsider their votes this November. The audio not only reveals Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic’s outbreak into the U.S., but also demonstrates a clear withholding of information from the American people. It will be difficult for Trump to regain his credibility and trust from the American people affected by the pandemic in time for the election.

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