After Bob Woodward produced recordings of Donald Trump admitting to misleading the public about the danger and contagiousness of COVID-19, his Fox News propagandists spun the lies as the mark of a great president.
As you probably know by now, Woodward released recordings of Trump saying about the threat of coronavirus, on March 19, 2020 “I wanted to always play it down” and “I still like playing it down.” On February 7, 2020, Trump acknowledged how very contagious the virus is and noted that it's five times more deadly than the flu. Yet he publicly likened it to the flu at least eight times afterward.
Media Matters put together a definitive montage, which you can see below.
The spin came from both Fox hosts and contributors.
Some key quotes:
KARL ROVE (CONTRIBUTOR): If the president doesn’t know everything to a certainty, then err on the side of caution.
ARI FLEISCHER (CONTRIBUTOR): Perfectly supportable.
JESSE WATTERS (HOST): Different presidents prepare the country differently for crisis.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): In other words, he wasn’t going to overhype this thing.
STEVE DOOCY (HOST): He didn’t want people to freak out so he tried to keep people calm.
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): It was genius of the president to try to get The Atlantic magazine story out of the news and the Michael Cohen book in his rearview mirror by allowing Bob Woodward’s book to come out – I guess next week. [Kilmeade was joking.]
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY (CONTRIBUTOR): I actually think this is a particularly stupid story that’s coming out. [Of course you do!]
“Ultimate journalist” MARTHA MACCALLUM (HOST): There’s nothing that was being hidden at that point.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. President Trump has never misled or distorted the truth about this deadly disease.
Several compared Trump's deceptions to FDR’s fireside chats.
Watch it below, via Media Matters.
KARL ROVE: “err on the side of caution” i.e. do next to nothing, just like my boss Bush did before 911 in response to the 8/6/2001 memo “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.”, and just the way most Republicans are responding to global warming.
ARI FLEISHER: “No president should panic anybody”, except, of course, if it involves the Democrats, immigrants, Black Lives Matter, or Antifa.
JESSE WATTERS: “presidents prepare the country differently for crisis”. We are pro-diversity. Trump’s way of preparing—that is, not preparing—is no worse than any other way.
STEVE DOOCY: Trump “tried to keep people calm” Trump first considered putting Valium in the nation’s drinking water but decided that denial was more cost-effective.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: It’s “a particularly stupid story”, because everybody knows the more a story damages Trump, the stupider it is.
SEAN HANNITY: “Trump has never misled or distorted about this deadly disease”, any more than I have…I don’t care what Tucker says.