As the US nears 200,000 coronavirus deaths, journalist Bob Woodward said he has "never seen anything like" Trump's mishandling of coronavirus and his inaccurate assessment of the pandemic.
"Two hundred thousand Americans dying. I think in covering nine presidents, I've never seen anything like it," Woodward told Jeff Zucker, the chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, at the Citizen by CNN 2020 conference.
"The visitation of the medical nightmare on the American population is staggering, stunning. It's on his head, and he did not do enough. He just didn't," Woodward said.
Woodward said Trump has failed to build a team around him, and that he "harasses people" and "attacks people who work for him."
"This impulse decision-making, I've never seen anything like it in the presidency or any other institution where it's this one man band and he's going to say and do exactly what he wants, often giving no warning to his closest aides," Woodward said.
Speaking to "Fox and Friends" yesterday, Trump gave himself a "A+" on his handling of the pandemic. Woodward said the President's push to paint a better picture of the situation is key to his campaign efforts. This also includes his focus on filling Justice Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.
"He is obsessed with reelection, we've seen with the SCOTUS issue he has shifted the issue." "this is an issue that is very important to his base."
Some background: President Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to Woodward in his new book "Rage."
"This is deadly stuff," Trump told Woodward on Feb. 7.
In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. "Pretty amazing," Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times "more deadly" than the flu.
Asked during CNN's Citizen conference to compare the audio tapes of President Richard Nixon during Watergate and Trump, Woodward responded: "As a reporter for The New York Times said, it's almost, in the case of Trump, as if Nixon had packaged up all his secret tape recordings showing his criminality and FedEx'ed them to me."