President Donald Trump on Thursday insisted “I didn’t lie” to the American public about the severity of coronavirus, despite having told journalist Bob Woodward in March that he’d been intentionally downplaying the virus’s potential impact.Immediately after telling reporters he hadn’t lied, the president seemed to acknowledge painting a rosier picture than the reality. “What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked,” Trump said.He then sidestepped a question about why he’d continued to tell the public that the virus was “like a flu” when he knew in February that it was five times more lethal.”What I went out and said is very simple: I want to show a level of confidence, strength as a leader,” Trump said.Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call that the virus was airborne, which was not known to the general public at the time. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in March one reason he wasn’t closing the city’s school system was that there was no evidence the virus was transmitted through the air.Trump, who continued holding political rallies throughout the month of February— including one where he referred to the virus as a “hoax”— insisted it

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