Trump was briefed on coronavirus 12+ times in Jan-Feb, kept downplaying it


Coronavirus warnings appeared in the President’s Daily Brief more than a dozen times in January and February, 2020, as the outbreak bloomed first in Asia, then in Europe.

Trump does not read the brief, and kept downplaying the threat the whole time.

As of Monday, more than 55,000 people in the United States died of COVID-19.

From the Washington Post:

The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief, a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day and designed to call the president’s attention to the most significant global developments and security threats.

For weeks, the PDB — as the report is known — traced the virus’s spread around the globe, made clear that China was suppressing information about the contagion’s transmissibility and lethal toll, and raised the prospect of dire political and economic consequences.

But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified material.

The frequency with which the coronavirus was mentioned in the PDB has not been previously reported, and U.S. officials said it reflected a level of attention comparable to periods when analysts have been tracking active terrorism threats, overseas conflicts or other rapidly developing security issues.

Read more:

President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat

[Reporting by Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, April 27, 2020]