US intelligence agencies gave Trump multiple ominous classified warnings about the coronavirus, but the president ignored them all.
U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.
Taken together, the reports and warnings painted an early picture of a virus that showed the characteristics of a globe-encircling pandemic that could require governments to take swift actions to contain it. But despite that constant flow of reporting, Trump continued publicly and privately to play down the threat the virus posed to Americans. Lawmakers, too, did not grapple with the virus in earnest until this month, as officials scrambled to keep citizens in their homes and hospitals braced for a surge in patients suffering from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The reports didn’t tell Trump when the coronavirus would arrive in the United States, but they did paint a dire picture that would have kicked any previous president into action.
One of Trump’s favorite excuses is to claim that he was caught by surprise by the virus and that no one could have seen this coming. It turns out that US intelligence agencies saw it coming, and tried to warn Trump. The President ignored their warnings because he gets his intelligence briefings from watching Fox News.
The government should have been acting to prepare months before this virus arrived in the United States. The United States is in a public health crisis that could kill millions and cripple the economy because Donald Trump doesn’t listen to US intelligence agencies.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association