Trump claims intelligence officers didn’t elevate coronavirus till late January

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CNN and different information shops have reported that the President’s day by day intelligence briefing included details about the coronavirus outbreak in China and its potential to unfold to america as early as January 3. It’s not clear whether or not Trump — who occasionally reads the President’s Every day Temporary compiled by intelligence officers — learn the knowledge on the time or whether or not officers briefing the President in individual raised the problem.
The Washington Publish additionally reported final week that US intelligence businesses included warnings in regards to the coronavirus in additional than a dozen labeled briefings ready for the President in January and February.

Trump mentioned Sunday night time that he was first briefed about coronavirus on January 23 and indicated the US intelligence businesses can be issuing an announcement within the coming days.

“On January 23, I used to be advised that there might be a virus coming in but it surely was of no actual import. In different phrases it wasn’t, ‘Oh we gotta do one thing, we gotta do one thing.’ It was a quick dialog and it was solely on January 23,” Trump mentioned throughout a Fox Information city corridor.

Whereas Trump claims he was advised that “there might be a virus coming in,” that January 23 briefing got here three days after the primary confirmed case of coronavirus in america.

The President was additionally briefed by Well being and Human Providers Secretary Secretary Alex Azar about the specter of the coronavirus throughout a January 18 cellphone name, based on a number of reviews.

Trump additionally mentioned that on the time, the US intelligence group was not “competently run.”

“And the intelligence businesses, which have now — now, now — as a result of earlier than they weren’t, which at the moment are very competently run with some nice folks….the intelligence businesses will inform you that tomorrow,” Trump mentioned Sunday.

Whereas claiming that he was solely briefed in regards to the coronavirus in late January, Trump didn’t handle why he continued to downplay the specter of the virus in January, February and March.
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As late as March 9, Trump continued to downplay the specter of coronavirus, evaluating it to the flu regardless of public well being specialists’ warnings towards such a comparability.

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Trump additionally falsely claimed in his tweet that these allowed into the US from China “had been closely scrutinized and examined U.S. residents.” Passengers returning to america from China weren’t examined at airports, although there had been some primary screening and a request that these passengers self-quarantine for 14 days.

Trump’s claims be a part of an inventory of deflections all through the pandemic because the President has sought to fight detrimental perceptions in regards to the US response. By Sunday, greater than 1.1 million folks within the US had been contaminated with the virus, and greater than 67,000 had died, based on the most recent information from Johns Hopkins College.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.

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