President Donald Trump may have publicly downplayed the threat of COVID-19.
But, he claims he “up-played” his response to the virus in the early days of the outbreak.
Trump was confronted by Ajani Powell, a Black woman who says she has not decided who to vote for, during a town hall event hosted by ABC News over why he wanted to downplay the threat posed by the virus.
She asked, “If you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities?”
“Well, I didn’t downplay it. I, actually, in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action,” he responded.
Powell interjected, “You did not admit to it yourself, saying that you …”
“What I did was, with China a put a ban on. With Europe, I put a ban on. And we would have lost thousands of more people had I not put the ban on,” Trump said.
He continued, “We did a very, very good job when we put that ban on, whether you call it talent or luck, it was very important. So we saved a lot of lives when we did that.”
Watch the video below:
In a special @ABC2020, Pres. Trump disputes uncommitted voter who asked why he downplayed a virus that has disproportionately affected communities of color: “I up-played it, in terms of action. My action was very strong.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2020
ABC’s George Stephanopolous interjected to say, “There were holes in the ban, and the European ban didn’t come for another month.”
Trump defended his travel restrictions by arguing the “holes” were to allow American citizens to come back to the country.
Powell appeared to be referring to an interview Trump did with fame Washington Post journalist in February, where he said he wanted to “always play it down.”
He also appeared to know more about the severity of the virus then he publicly admitted as he said, “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”