President Donald Trump likes to brag that he restricted travel from China in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but the ban wasn't even his idea.
Bob Woodward told NBC's "Today" that top health experts in the administration recommended that the president restrict travel from China, which Trump claims those same experts opposed.
The veteran journalist reports in his new book, "Rage," that the policy was recommended to Trump by Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC director Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar.
Trump has boasted the policy had saved "potentially millions of lives," and he inaccurately insists the order was his idea and had been opposed by public health experts and criticized by his political opponents as "xenophobic."
The president spoke 18 times to Woodward, for about nine hours total, and a recording revealed that he purposefully downplayed the threat from the virus.
"It is one of those shocks for me, having written about nine presidents, that the president of the United States possessed the specific knowledge that could have saved lives," Woodward said. "Historians are going to be writing about the lost month of February for tens of years."