President Trump responded to recordings that show he downplayed the coronavirus pandemic, saying he wanted to show strength and didn't want to "create panic."
"I don't want to create panic, as you say, and certainly I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We can to show strength," the President said.
According to an audio recording from veteran journalist Bob Woodward, Trump said he "wanted to always play it down" and that he knew the virus was airborne and deadly since February.
"The job we've done has been incredible. But we don't want to instill panic. We don't want to jump up and down and start shouting that we have a problem that is a tremendous problem, scare everybody," he added.
When asked if lives would have been saved if he had been more upfront about the dangers of the virus, the President touted the administration's efforts, saying "I think we've done from every standpoint an incredible job."
"If we didn't close the country, we would have been talking about millions of people instead of the numbers that we have right now," Trump said.
Watch Trump's response: