US Intelligence Reportedly Anticipated Coronavirus Pandemic

Headline Roundup March 21st, 2020

A report on Friday in the Washington Post alleged that U.S. intelligence agencies had warned about a likely coronavirus pandemic as early as January, contradicting statements by President Donald Trump and other lawmakers that sought to downplay the crisis. Citing "U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting," the Post wrote that classified warnings from agencies like the CIA and the State Department "did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak."

Reporting on the issue has been limited to some left- and center- rated outlets, with one right-rated publication covering the story as of Sunday morning.

US Intelligence Reportedly Anticipated Coronavirus Pandemic

From the Right
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The U.S. Intelligence Community warned President Trump in early 2020 that the Chinese Communist Party was downplaying the real threat posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has since become a pandemic with more than 300,000 confirmed cases around the world.

The Trump administration was advised in January and February that Chinese officials “appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak” and “were not being candid about the true scale of the crisis,” according to a report Friday by the Washington Post.

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From the Left
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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...

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From the Center
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The intelligence community was warning of the danger posed by the novel coronavirus throughout January and February as the White House downplayed the threat and was slow to roll out nationwide measures, reports show.

U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting told The Washington Post that the reports did not clarify when the virus might spread in the U.S. or recommend specific steps to prevent an outbreak, but they did track the international spread of the coronavirus and warn that China was initially dismissing the seriousness of what is now...

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