According to audio Bob Woodward's interviews with President Trump for his new book "Rage," the President on Feb. 7 said coronavirus could be "more deadly" than strenuous flus.
"It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so, that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus. You know, people don’t realize, we lose 25,000, 30,000 people a year here. Who would ever think that, right?" Trumps said according to the audio.
Trump went on to say that coronavirus was maybe five times "more deadly" than the flu.
"This is more deadly. This is five per- you know, this is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent. You know? So, this is deadly stuff," Trump said, according to the audio.
But 20 days later, while speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said "we don't know exactly" what the fatality rate of coronavirus is.
"The flu has a fatality ratio of about 1% This has a fatality ratio of somewhere between 2 and 3%" CNN's Sanjay Gupta said at the Feb. 27 briefing.
"We think, we don't know exactly," Trump said "The flu is much higher than that."