Trump Defends Corona Approach and Parallels Churchill
US President Donald Trump has drawn a parallel between his approach to the coronavirus and the behaviour of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.
“When Hitler bombed London, Churchill, a great leader, would often stand on a rooftop in London and speak to people,” Trump said Thursday evening (local time) at an election rally in Freeland, Michigan. “And he always spoke with serenity. He said we should be calm. No, we did well, and we did a job like no other.”
The Republican presidential candidate has come under pressure nearly two months before the US election for saying in interviews with investigative reporter Bob Woodward in March that he deliberately downplayed the threat of the virus.
Recordings of that interview were published by American media on Wednesday. Trump then said in defence that he did not want to panic.
Trump on Thursday referred to the London government’s advice to the British in World War II: “Keep calm and carry on”. “That’s what I did.”
Churchill is said to have observed Nazi bombings on London from a rooftop but made no speeches. In June 1945 – after the end of the war – he spoke on a rooftop during the election campaign, as captured in photos.
At a press conference at the White House on Thursday, Trump denied lying to Americans about the danger of the coronavirus. He called the question a reporter asked him “a shame”. “I haven’t lied,” Trump said. “I said we should stay calm, and we shouldn’t panic.”
Trump’s challenger in the White House race, Democrat Joe Biden, accused the Republican on Wednesday of lying to the American people and responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of American citizens.