WASHINGTON (AP) — A new book reveals that President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat even as he was telling the nation that it was no worse than the seasonal flu and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control.

According to Bob Woodward's book, Trump told the journalist on Feb. 7: “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed."

Trump is also quoted as saying, "It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu."

Trump told Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger, saying: “I wanted to always play it down."

Excerpts from the book were reported Wednesday by The Washington Post and CNN.

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