Pence called Trump's lies to the American public about the threat of the coronavirus 'presidential leadership.'
Mike Pence on Thursday compared Donald Trump's deliberate downplaying of the viral outbreak to tactics employed by leaders during World War II.
Newly released tapes of interviews with author Bob Woodward reveal that Trump knew in early February how dangerous the coronavirus was, saying it was "more deadly" than the flu. He also admitted to Woodward that despite knowing how big the threat was, he "wanted to always play it down." Now, Trump and his White House are claiming that he constant downplaying of the serious of the outbreak was simply because he didn't want to "create panic."
Pence also tried to push that line during an interview on Fox News. Trump simply "wanted to reassure the American people all along the way," he said. "There's that old saying from World War II in Great Britain, 'Keep calm. Carry on.' That was the presidential leadership that I saw."
"Keep Calm and Carry On" was a propaganda slogan used by the British government to encourage citizens while the country was being bombed by the Nazis during the war.
This isn't the first time the White House has tried to compare Trump's behavior to that of leaders during World War II. In June, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany similarly compared Trump to Winston Churchill.
She said Trump's photo-op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, where protesters were tear-gassed to clear room for Trump to pose with a Bible, was a "message of resilience and determination like Churchill" during the London Blitz.
From the Sep. 10 edition of Fox News' "America's Newsroom":
SANDRA SMITH, host: The president, in his defense of these audio tapes, has basically said this was a strategy on his part. To prevent panic, to bring calm to the American people.
So, if it was a strategy, is it one that you knew of, Mr. Vice President?
MIKE PENCE: What I saw first hand from that day in January in the Oval Office when President Trump took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China, declaring a public health emergency, is that this president put the health of America first from day one.
But he also wanted to reassure the American people all along the way. There's that old saying from World War II in Great Britain, "Keep calm. Carry on." That was the presidential leadership that I saw.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.