'We are living in an Orwellian world': Bob Woodward slams Trump for hiding the truth about COVID from Americans
Bob Woodward (MSNBC)

On Tuesday, in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward opened up about his conversations with President Donald Trump, during which he confessed he deliberately downplayed the severity of COVID-19 for political expedience.

"Tragically, unfortunately, he gave his speech, the famous state of the union speech, to the Congress," said Woodward. "40 million people watched. He spent 15 seconds on it, saying, we're doing everything that we can. This is the moment the leader would say, I got a warning, trouble is coming, but then he goes on saying I didn't want to tell the truth because I would panic people. That's not what people in this country do when they're told the truth."

Woodward took particular issue with Trump's recent claim at a town hall that, if anything, he "up-played" the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are living in an Orwellian world," said Woodward. "That is not just about some political problem or some geopolitical problem. It's about the lives of people in this country, and he was told he knew. He told me about it. I thought it was about China and, quite frankly, it took me three months to find out about that key Jan 28 meeting in the Oval Office, which was a top secret intelligence briefing, and the briefer from the intelligence community is saying well, there are problems in China but they are working on it ... I have witnesses to this participants in this and said no, no and pushed a very contrarian view based on facts and experience."

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