It seems that Donald J. Trump, ignoring the cardinal rule of presidential politics ("Don't mix Bob Woodward and audio tapes."), has been outed as having downplayed the danger of the COVID pandemic while being fully informed of its seriousness. While this came as a shock to precisely nobody, there is ample historical precedent for understating crises...
Genesis Chapter 7 Then the Lord said unto Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. And the people inquired of Noah, "What's up with all the rain?" And Noah replied, "Verily, it's going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle — it will disappear." Noah and his children and his wife and his jackass son-in-law with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 straight days.
President Franklin Roosevelt Address to Joint Session of Congress, December 8, 1941 Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in mild disrepute—the territory of the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately encroached upon by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. 99% of the bombs that were dropped were totally harmless.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused a certain amount of breakage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that American lives have been lost, but our numbers are way better than China's. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that strong light and injected disinfectants will heal most of the other injuries.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that this is mostly the fault of Sleepy Herbert and the rest of the Hoover administration.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the rudeness by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of unpleasantness has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Royal Decree of His Royal Highness Edward III, September 16, 1348 The pox that has beset the land in latter days is but the loathsome swindle of a dungeon-toad. Be it known to all those who shall see these letters that we needeth to reopen commerce such that the royal coffers shall be filled as in days of yore. Heed not the counsel of necromancers, alchemists or healers, for they have fallen prey to the influence of French witchcraft. May a large curse upon them fall, ten times trebled upon their sconces. Let it further be proclaimed that the wearing of plague masks is for cream-faced knaves and the lily-livered. Fear not, for this pestilence shall wend hence on its own.
Public Address from Captain Edward Smith, 12:31 AM, April 15, 1912 Now hear this, this is your captain speaking. I want to address our situation and some of the rumors spreading through the ship. First, the fact is that contact was made with a piece of ice. It was something nobody thought could happen in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Literally nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened. Second, the ship is sound. It is unsinkable. The idea that we are foundering comes from just one study by the Cunard line of ships. They're not big White Star fans. Third, we have a lot of the best people working very hard to do patches and various other things. I'm told that a substance called hydroxychloroquine is containing any leakage. Now, it's true that we've lowered the lifeboats and issued life preservers, but you'll notice that neither I nor any member of the crew will use either. Some passengers are wearing them just to make me look bad. I also urge you to bear in mind that children are virtually immune to ice water. The danger is fading away. It’s going to fade away. That is all.