US President Donald Trump allegedly received more than a dozen warnings about the threat of coronavirus to public health in daily briefings throughout January and February, while downplaying its severity, according to a report released by the Washington Post on Monday.
The Post, citing current and former Trump Administration officials, reported that early warnings were given to the president from various US intelligence agencies that tracked the proliferation and inaccuracy of China's statistics on the coronavirus' death toll in the country.The report also noted that President Trump, who apparently is prone to missing or forgoing briefings, was not absorbing the seriousness the coronavirus threat.
US intelligence agencies started tracking coronavirus by early November, weeks prior to that information being used in Trump's briefings, according to US military official speaking to CNN.
An official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told the Washington Post that Trump never received early warnings.
CNN also reached out to the Trump Administration following the report, receiving a response from White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, who said that "President Trump shut down flights from China and Europe and was called xenophobic, he talked about defeating Coronavirus in the State of Union and (House) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi tore it to shreds, and he asked Congress for billions to protect hardworking Americans and small business, but the Democrats delayed the bill."
The early warning Trump received focused on the state of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, in addition to concise accounts of its status.