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Trump Acknowledged Downplaying the Coronavirus Threat: The Business Insider

NBC News

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he knew from the start that thousands of Americans could die from the novel coronavirus but downplayed the threat because he wanted to stay positive and be a "cheerleader" for the country, The Business Insider reports. 

At Tuesday's White House press briefing, Trump was asked whether he lulled Americans into a false sense of security by telling the public that the virus would go away quickly, even as it was clear the number of cases and death toll were on the rise. 

"I knew everything. I knew it could be horrible, I knew it could be maybe good," Trump said. "I don't want to be a negative person."

He continued: "This is really easy to be negative about. But I want to give people hope too. You know I'm a cheerleader for the country - we are going through the worst thing that the country has probably ever seen."

This came as the top medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force warned that the coronavirus could easily kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans - even with mitigation efforts like social distancing in place. 

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