We know from subsequent leaks that the president was indeed presented with information about the seriousness of the virus and its pandemic potential beginning at least in early January 2020. And yet, as documented by the Washington Post, he repeatedly stated that “it would go away.” On February 10, when there were 12 known cases, he said that he thought the virus would “go away” by April, “with the heat.” On February 25, when there were 53 known cases, he said, “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away.” On February 27, when there were 60 cases, he said, famously, “We have done an incredible job. We’re going to continue. It’s going to disappear. One day—it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.” On March 6, when there were 278 cases and 14 deaths, again he said, “It’ll go away.” On March 10, when there were 959 cases and 28 deaths, he said, “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” On March 12, with 1,663 cases and 40 deaths recorded, he said, “It’s going to go away.” On March 30, with 161,807 cases and 2,978 deaths, he was still saying, “It will go away. You know it—you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory.” On April 3, with 275,586 cases and 7,087 deaths, he again said, “It is going to go away.” He continued, repeating himself: “It is going away.… I said it’s going away, and it is going away.” In remarks on June 23, when the United States had 126,060 deaths and roughly 2.5 million cases, he said, “We did so well before the plague, and we’re doing so well after the plague. It’s going away.” Such statements continued as both the cases and the deaths kept rising. Neither the virus nor Trump’s statements went away.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live)