Fact check: Did President Trump Mislead Concerning Covid Seriousness?

The Statement in Question: Did President Trump mislead the nation concerning the seriousness of the Corona virus?

True or False:
False – the president did not try to mislead the county

Degree of Certainty:
High

Reason:  
“Mislead” and other terms like “lied” indicate an intentional attempt to deceive. There is no indication that the president intentionally intended to deceive the nation. From his own statements, the president was trying to prevent panic and keep the nation calm.

Comments:
Keeping a nation calm and preventing a panic is a trait of leadership. As Britain did with the phrase “keep calm and carry on,” a phrase prepared for release during World War II (at a time when many lives were obviously threatened) . President Roosevelt (FDR) showed the same kind of leadership days of his inauguration in 1933 with his fireside chat which prevented the depression from going from bad to worse by convincing people not to panic, to trust the banks, and redeposit the money they had stashed at home back in the backs.

Echoes and References:

Below: The Charge: A supposedly “uncommitted” voter asks the president why he downplayed the seriousness. Using a word play, the president responds he didn’t downplay it, with his actions he up-played it.


As the president explained a number of times, as the leader of the country, he didn’t want to cause a panic. So while he acted appropriately to maintain public safety, behind the scenes as the leader of the country, he worked to maintain calm as many others leaders before him did concerning matters of public safety.

The president explains his response – “Don’t panic”

Echo: President Trump speaking to Sean Hannity on “Hannity” 9/10/20

The president explains while doing unprecedented action in the background, he wanted to prevent a panic.

Echo: President Trump speaking to Sean Hannity on “Hannity” 9/10/20

Dr Tony Fauci denies Trump mislead, states the President didn’t say anything different from what the Covid team had said.


Echo: Dr. Tony Fauci, Fox News 9/9/20

President Trump cites other leaders who worked to prevent panic during times of concern for public safety.

Echo: President Trump, Evening Standard 9/11/20

Comment:
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president during the great depression. Was it true that the “only thing they had to fear is fear itself?” Or were the problems of the great depression real. (They were very real.) But his statement is not considered a lie. It is considered the guidance from a leader to encourage and calm the nation, and help keep things from getting worse. He did the same thing in his first fireside chat where he instilled new trust in the banking system, and encouraged people who were “hoarding” money (a threat to the entire banking industry) to stop. FDR told them, “…hoarding has become a terribly unfashionable past time. Please take your money out from under your mattresses and redeposit in the banks when they re-open.”  And people actually did it. FDR’s leadership helped save the banking industry at a critical time. As one commentator noted, “Now that’s leadership.”

Echo reference: President Franklin D. Roosevelt – Fireside chat, March 12, 1933
The Roosevelts -An Intimate History Episode 04_”The Storm( 1920-1933)”


Updates:
11/15/2020 – Title

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