US President Donald Trump insisted he “up-played” the coronavirus to Americans earlier this year despite a damning audio of him stating the exact opposite.
In a televised town hall hosted by network ABC News, the event was a warm-up before Trump faces Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the first presidential debate on September 29.
During questioning, he tried to counter his admission to journalist Bob Woodward that he was deliberately “playing it down” when discussing the threat of Covid-19 to Americans.
Pressed by a member of the audience, he said: “Well I didn't downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action. My action was very strong.
“Because what I did was, with China I put a ban on, with Europe, I put a ban on. And we would have lost thousands of more people, had I not put the ban on.”