TRUMP: “I wanted to always play it down.”

This piece was originally published in the September 9, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

“How many families are missing loved ones at their dinner table tonight?”

Joe Biden, responding today to a newly-released recording on which Trump admits he intentionally played down the dangers of the pandemic

Americans like Deb and Allan have spent months sacrificing.

Their daughter nearly died of coronavirus. They can’t hold their new grandbaby. And, because of Trump’s chaotic and incompetent leadership, there’s no end in sight.

Trump has utterly failed Americans during this crisis.

Share their story on Facebook and Twitter to get the facts out:


  • In a newly released interview conducted in March, Trump spoke to journalist Bob Woodward about the growing coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., saying he “always wanted to play it down.” A recording from the interview captures what we suspected all along — Trump was well aware of the dangers of this pandemic, and yet he actively ignored them. In his interview with Woodward, Trump admitted that he knew, weeks before the first confirmed U.S. COVID-19 death, that the pandemic was deadly, highly contagious, and airborne, among other things. Publicly, he has feigned ignorance of many of these facts over the course of the pandemic, or told America the exact opposite — leaving nearly 200,000 Americans dead and millions infected in the process.

REALITY CHECK: Every day of the Trump administration has felt horrifying and unprecedented, and it’s easy to become desensitized. Today’s news that Trump admitted he was lying to the American public is a big deal — even for this administration. This kind of behavior from the White House is unacceptable, and it’s on us to call it out for what it is.

  • Hours after the Woodward tape was released today, Trump announced a list of potential nominees for a currently nonexistent Supreme Court vacancy. It’s hard not to see this as a distraction from the disturbing footage of him intentionally ignoring a massive public health emergency that has taken a toll on millions of American families. We’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s Progress Report.
  • AstraZeneca, the drug company widely considered to be the furthest along in the development of a coronavirus vaccine, has paused their vaccine trials due to an unexplained severe illness in a participant. While it is not yet clear whether the illness is tied to the vaccine, this is a standard procedure in the development process. It is a stark reminder of how important it is to ensure a vaccine passes safely through all trial phases before being approved for public distribution. Joe Biden released vaccine standards that emphasize listening to medical experts to counter Trump’s dangerous push for a vaccine by Election Day.

In this week’s edition of What’s Trending?, CAP Action’s Alex Witt walks through the online conversation surrounding Trump’s insults of fallen soldiers and explains why conservatives are so worked up about a haircut. Plus, as one of our readers asked: “Who TF is Dan Bongino?” Subscribe here to get next week’s edition in your inbox.


  • The motorcycle rally last month in Sturgis, South Dakota could be responsible for nearly 260,000 coronavirus cases, according to a new report. (That’s a quarter of a MILLION.) The likely superspreader event drew over 400,000 people, many of whom did not wear masks or practice social distancing. The report also found that the rally generated $12.2 billion in public health costs, based on the statistical cost of a COVID-19 case.
  • [Sensitive content warning: sexual assault] The Justice Department has requested to replace Trump’s personal lawyers in a defamation lawsuit brought against him by E. Jean Carroll. Carroll sued Trump for defamation in November of 2019 after he denied her accusations of sexual assault and baselessly accused her of taking money from political opponents to make up her story. This use of government resources and power for Trump’s personal gain is the latest step in AG Bill Barr’s shameless politicization of the Justice Department.
  • The pandemic has touched all aspects of our society, but one group has been hit particularly hard — people who live and work in prisons and jails. In the months of July and August, upwards of 6,000 incarcerated people were infected with COVID-19 every week. 115,000 incarcerated people have been infected by COVID-19 as of September 1. According to The Marshall Project, which has been tracking coronavirus cases in prisons since April, there was a 7% jump in cases last week relative to the week before.


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