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Could lives have been saved if the President had been truthful about COVID-19 from the start?

Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on Bob Woodward’s new book “Rage.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is also very much a local story. The virus has upended our local economy and killed more than 400 people in Shelby County since early March. Nearly 166,000 cases have been confirmed in the county. And our way of life has been drastically altered. So how the government, especially the President, has responded to COVID-19 matters locally. Which is why the revelations in Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, are so stunning.

The biggest bombshell comes from President Trump’s own words. He knew at the beginning of February that COVID-19 was an airborne disease and was five times more deadly than the most serious flu. He also knew that the virus strikes children, although not as badly. Yet, the President kept telling America the virus was a minor annoyance that would simply go away. And he kept holding packed indoor rallies while discouraging people from wearing a mask. 

So it stands to reason that this President helped to spread the virus rather than contain it. He kept vital information from the public for political gain. And it’s not a stretch to say that at least some of the 400 lost lives in Shelby County could have been saved had the President been truthful with us from the start. 

Forget politics. This is about human lives. And it saddens me to say I am ashamed that this man is our President. And that’s my point of view.

Bob Woodward's new book, Rage, is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest. Woodward, the #1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency.

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