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As the COVID Threat Ramped Up, Trump Resisted Sounding the Alarm | "The Virus"

17 Jun 2020
Go inside a pivotal sequence of events in the Trump administration's coronavirus response in this excerpt from the FRONTLINE documentary "The Virus: What Went Wrong?"

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It was the last week of February, and as coronavirus cases mounted across the globe, President Donald Trump was reassuring.

“You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country,” Trump said on Feb. 25 at a press conference while visiting India. “We have very few people with it.”

Back in the U.S., though, Trump’s team of health officials had become increasingly concerned about the growing threat from COVID-19, and worried that the travel restrictions involving China that the president had implemented in late January weren’t enough. In fact, as a new FRONTLINE documentary explores, top officials were planning to confront the president when he returned on Feb. 26 and urge him to take new, more serious actions.

But that meeting didn’t happen.

The above excerpt from tells the story of why, illuminating a pivotal sequence of events in the administration’s handling of what would become the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

Watch "The Virus: What Went Wrong?" in full starting June 16: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-virus/

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