That same month, Trump compared the coronavirus to the common flu, which he noted kills "between 27,000 and 70,000 per year" yet "nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on".
At the end of March, a grim-faced president announced that a death toll of 100,000 was looming.
Shortly before, he'd been talking up the idea of people ending social distancing in time for Easter in mid-April.
Early on, he also frequently praised the Chinese government's response, only later pivoting to ferociously blaming Beijing for the global health crisis.
Should Woodward have released his information earlier, and not held it until his book publication in September?
"This question, a good one, has emerged frequently lately," tweeted David Boardman, Dean of the Media and Communication college at Temple University.
"In today's life-and-death situation, is this traditional practice still ethical?"
Without giving a firm answer, he said it is "a serious and nuanced question worth discussing, especially among journalists".
(Writer: Sebastian Smith)
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