Democratic candidate Sima Ladjevardian circulated footage this weekend of Rep. Dan Crenshaw defending Trump for lying to Americans about the deadliness of COVID-19.
“You see it with the current debate with the president about whether he downplayed it or not,” Crenshaw says in the video. “He never uses the right words, let’s be honest. It’s also pretty clear his intent was very good. Do not make people panic.”
The comments, first reported by the Texas Tribune, were made at a “Texas Alliance for Life” event last week, as the national death toll from COVID-19 approached 200,000.
They follow bombshell audio released by legendary journalist Bob Woodward of phone calls he had with the president in February. In the recording, Trump makes it clear he believes COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu and admits to downplaying the virus in order to not make the public panic. A few weeks later at a White House briefing, he promised Americans the virus was being contained and would simply go away. Despite having a grasp on how dangerous the virus was before the pandemic began, Trump was unable to lead a sufficient response. As a result, America has 4 percent of the world’s population but also holds 25 percent of coronavirus cases.
Crenshaw himself is also no stranger to misleading information on COVID-19, including being skeptical of masks, pretending Texas had flattened the curve, and telling Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo that she was overreacting for sounding the alarm on mounting cases. Hidalgo has received almost universal praise for her pandemic response, while doctors and scientists continue to sound the alarm about the dangerous misinformation spread by Crenshaw and Trump.
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com