US President Donald Trump has denied that he downplayed the seriousness of Covid-19, despite admitting in a recorded interview having done that.

At a televised event with voters, Mr Trump said he had “up-played” it.

The claim contradicts what Mr Trump told journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year that he minimised the virus’s severity to avoid panic.

And Mr Trump repeated that a vaccine could be ready “within weeks” despite scepticism from US health experts.

No vaccine has yet completed clinical trials, leading some scientists to fear politics rather than health and safety is driving the push for a vaccine before the 3 November presidential elections.

Trump deliberately played down virus, Woodward book says Coronavirus: The week when everything changed for Trump

Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal in

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