President Trump informed a voter he didn’t downplay the coronavirus in the early days of his administration’s Covid-19 response — although he’s been heard on tape saying he did — throughout an ABC News city with undecided voters on Tuesday.

“If you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities,” a voter requested Trump.

Trump responded, “Yeah, well I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.” The voter appeared to attempt to comply with up and remind the president he acknowledged downplaying the risk of the coronavirus pandemic in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward earlier this yr.

The city corridor, hosted by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, is one among the uncommon events Trump has sat down for questions with a information community apart from Fox News. It can also be one among the few moments the president has needed to work together with undecided voters in a moderated setting.

Trump is in a bare-knuckled re-election battle in opposition to former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, whereas his ballot numbers sagging as he continues to get low marks from voters for the way he dealt with the response to the virus.

Trump’s about-face on his administration’s coronavirus response comes as taped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward have been just lately launched during which the president acknowledged downplaying the risk, in keeping with an account of Woodward’s new e book.

“I wished to all the time play it down. I nonetheless like taking part in it down as a result of I do not wish to create a panic,” Trump mentioned in a March 19 name with Woodward, in keeping with an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post’s website. The newspaper obtained a duplicate of the e book, “Rage,” which was released this week.

In the same interview, Trump also acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he publicly admitted.

“Now it is turning out it isn’t simply previous folks, Bob. But simply at present, and yesterday, some startling info got here out. It’s not simply previous, older,” Trump said, according to an audio clip, and then added, “younger folks, too, loads of younger folks.”

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