A doctor who was featured in a deceptive video that Donald Trump presented at a press briefing in the White House has come out to correct the record – and the president – of his comments regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. David Agus, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California, suggested that his thoughts had changed about the threat the new virus posed to the United States after he first stated in Media interviews that health officials had contained the epidemic.
Mr. Trump posted a doctor’s comments CBS News February 8 interview at Monday afternoon’s press conference, in which Mr. Agus said, “Coronavirus is not going to cause major problems in the United States.”
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Later that night, when the president’s press conference was criticized for allegedly including “propaganda” about his administration’s response to Covid-19, the doctor clarified his comments which were presented during the controversial episode.
Mr. Agus wrote in a tweet: “Many (inc @POTUS) mentioned that on February 8 on @CBSThisMorning, I said I didn’t think #CoronaVirus would be a major problem in the United States. “
He continued, “I was told that we have adequate virus testing and that we will quarantine the infected and control the virus before it can terrorize the country. “
“We have the best epidemiology teams in the world after all,” the doctor wrote in a follow-up tweet. “I was wrong to accept this as a fact and I learned to question trust.”
While health officials and the federal government were apparently calm about the virus and its potential impact after the United States confirmed its first official Covid-19 case on January 20, the country was faced with d ‘significant problems in distributing test kits nationwide to expand rapid testing capabilities.
Experts said the first few months of the epidemic could have served as a window of time to contain the virus and prevent countless deaths, as well as “smoothing the curve” by slowing the rate of transmission and, in turn, keeping the country’s hospital systems in capacity.
The president himself was trying to calm things down during the first weeks of the epidemic, saying that his administration had the situation “completely under control” at the end of January and predicting throughout February that it “would probably disappear in April ”or during the summer months, alleging that the virus could weaken due to the heat.
Trump lambasted his critics on Monday and continued to say that his administration’s response to the pandemic was “perfect.” The president also said that his authority was “total” at the press conference, telling a journalist who asked questions about state governors potentially at odds with his plans to reopen the country: “When someone is President of the United States, your authority is complete. ”
Doctor was not alone in correcting the case after the president’s video was released: New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman also said she was the target of “deceptive” content produced by Mr. Trump on Monday.
“The president uses audio from me on The Daily to disparage my reporting in the newspaper (although I’m so glad they listen to The Daily),” the reporter wrote in a tweet, referring to the New York podcast. Times, The Daily. “Their use of audio is misleading – I went on to say that I said he saw this travel limitation as a mission accomplished moment.”
The clip Ms. Haberman was referring to showed her discussing the president’s decision to suspend flights from China in the midst of the epidemic, saying that he was accused of “xenophobia” and “widely criticized” by his supporters. opponents.
“And then he practically did nothing for more than a month,” she added in a follow-up tweet, adding, “What was our story yesterday. “
The president’s statements touting his response to the pandemic come as the United States reports more than 21,000 pandemic-related deaths and nearly 550,000 cases of coronavirus, according to data published by Johns Hopkins University.