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Trump told Woodward that he didn't see coronavirus as the leadership test of a lifetime

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 15: "Rage" by Bob Woodward is offered for sale at a Barnes & Noble store on September 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The book, based on interviews that Woodward had with President Donald Trump, went on sale today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said in March that he didn't consider the coronavirus pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime leadership challenge, even as the country was going through historic shutdowns to fight the spread, according to a new interview shared by veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

(CNN)President Donald Trump said in March that he didn't consider the coronavirus pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime leadership challenge, even as the country was going through historic shutdowns to fight the spread, according to a new interview shared by veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

The comments came more than seven weeks after Trump had been warned by his national security adviser that the virus would be the "biggest national security threat" of his presidency and after multiple interviews in which Trump had told Woodward about his concerns over Covid-19.

Woodward learned in early May about a January 28 top-secret intelligence briefing during which national security adviser Robert O'Brien told Trump that the coronavirus would be "the biggest national security threat" of his presidency.

Over the course of their conversations, Trump admitted to Woodward he had known weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," and that he had repeatedly played it down publicly.

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