During an in-person campaign stop in Florida, Sen. Kamala Harris addressed the reporting in Bob Woodward’s book “Rage,” in which he wrote that President Trump said he down-played the severity of the coronavirus in March.
Driving the news: Harris said Thursday that Trump is engaged “in reckless disregard of the lives and health and well being” of the American people, per a pool report from her roundtable at Florida Memorial University. “I find it so outrageous.”
- In March, Trump told Woodward: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
What she’s saying: Harris participated in a roundtable discussion centered around challenges facing the African American community in South Florida, but she addressed the new reporting at the top.
- “So, basically what we are hearing is that on Jan. 28, the president and the vice president were informed about the imminence and the dangers of COVID-19,” she said.
- She admonished the president — “who has the unique and very important and special responsibility of concerning himself with keeping the American people safe” — for later calling the coronavirus “a hoax” and dismissing “the seriousness of it to the point he suggested people should not wear masks.”
- Harris continued: “He knew it was airborne that people would breathe it.”
Why it matters: Democrats are already airing ads using Trump’s own words against him to further convince voters that he mishandled the pandemic and it didn’t have to be this way, with 190,000 Americans dead — and counting.
Go deeper: Why Trump talked to Woodward
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