Trump denies lying about coronavirus' threat; refers to Woodward as ‘wack job’

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday at the White House that he didn’t downplay the coronavirus pandemic as Bob Woodward reported in his new book “Rage.” He said he just did what he needed to do so the public would not panic.

Hours later, Trump spoke at a crowded rally at an open-air airport hangar in Michigan. He referred to Woodward, 77, of the Washington Post, as a “wack job.” The veteran journalist is best known for his reporting on the Watergate scandal and has 13 best-selling books on U.S. politics.

“They wanted me to come out and scream, ‘People are dying! We are dying!’ No! No! We did it just the right way," Trump said during the rally. “We have to be calm. We don’t want to be crazed lunatics.”

Meanwhile, in the Senate a 52-47 vote Thursday got in the way of Republicans' push for a coronavirus relief package before the Nov. 3 election. Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, missed the vote while campaigning in Miami-Dade County. The package included $105 billion to help public schools adapt to the needs of the coronavirus pandemic.

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