Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House’s coronavirus response team, came to President Donald Trump’s defense late Wednesday, telling Fox News that he does not believe Trump intentionally “distorted” information about the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier Wednesday, veteran journalist Bob Woodward released excerpts of his forthcoming book on the president — excerpts that came from nearly 20 hours of conversation with Trump — including a passage that suggests Trump deliberately downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic in order to tamp down Americans’ panic.
Trump reportedly said he “wanted to always play it [the pandemic] down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” according to Woodward. Trump added, the book contends, that he did not understand the true extent of the virus’s impact when the first reports of coronavirus emerged in late January and early February.
Trump defended the