The Washington Post report shows that the U.S. intelligence agencies warned the Trump administration repeatedly about the potentially devastating threat after China announced the coronavirus outbreak in December 2019.
The US President, Trump never took the warning serious and delayed action that might have controlled the spread of the virus in the country.
Intelligence reports pointed out that China didn’t want the full weight of the coronavirus to be known but that the U.S. would be wise enough to prepare for a rapidly spreading pandemic. Trump ignored the intelligence and repeatedly assured the nation that coronavirus was nothing serious to border about.
Following the growing number of coronavirus cases and its death toll in the U.S., President Trump is claiming to have thought the problem was urgent and need proactive measures right from the start and that he “knew it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
Intelligence agencies “have been warning on this since January,” a U.S. official who had access to reports given to Congress and Trump officials told the Post.
“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” the official said. “The system was blinking red.”
White House, Hogan Gidley denied the account, stating that Trump has “taken historic, aggressive measures to protect the health, wealth and safety of the American people — and did so while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment.”
From Trump’s own public statements, one could tell that he never believe coronavirus was an issue to worry about. Rather, he described criticisms of the White House reaction to coronavirus a “new hoax” from the Democrats. Trump had promised last month that the 15 domestic cases of the virus in the U.S. would go down “close to zero” and that the disease would go away or disappear by April when the weather turned warmer.
It’s not surprising that Trump officials must have repeatedly persuaded him to focus on the issue without winning, according to the Post. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney urged President Trump to pay attention to the growing threat. But he was “dismissive,” the Post reported.
The issues about a dearth of testing for coronavirus was raised in early February by Joe Grogan, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Post said.
The Post also linked part of Trump’s reluctant approach to take the coronavirus issues seriously to his relationship with China’s President Xi Jingping, who Trump first believed was releasing accurate information. He has praised Xi’s efforts and “transparency.”
Right now, Trump is calling the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and has claimed China did not alert the U.S. soon enough so better actions can be taken.
As now, the coronavirus outbreak has spread across the United States, with more than 15,000 cases confirmed as of Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.