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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Trump Knew

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.   It unfolds as Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to public policy and the electoral process.

On February 26, Trump said the coronavirus case count "within a couple days is going to be down close to zero."  The case count now stands at 6.4 million.

This week, the death toll topped 190,000.

Jamie Gangel, Jeremy Herb and Elizabeth Stuart at CNN:

President Donald 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 legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage."

"This is deadly stuff," Trump told Woodward on February 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.


Josh Dawsey, Felicia Sonmez and Paul Kane at WP:

Democrats, led by presidential nominee Joe Biden, denounced Trump’s actions as part of a deliberate effort to lie to the public for his own political purposes when other world leaders took decisive action to warn their people and set those nations on a better path to handling the pandemic....

 The president’s top political advisers, including campaign manager Bill Stepien, have long viewed the coronavirus as the president’s biggest albatross and have argued for Trump to address it more forcefully. The book, particularly with the audio, could be a potent attack area for Biden’s campaign, Republicans close to Trump said, with internal and public polling consistently showing a majority of voters do not agree with the president’s response to the pandemic.

“Our problem is that every day we are focused on something other than defining Joe Biden as a liberal is a bad day for us,” said one campaign adviser, also speaking on the condition of anonymity to comment freely about internal deliberations.