In January, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump was warned by the US Intelligence of the scale and the intensity of the CoViD-19 outbreak in China.
Intelligence agencies described the nature of the virus and alerted the president that China is downplaying its numbers of people infected. They also advised Donald Trump about the potential need for government measures.
Trump dismissed the threat as blown out of proportion and continued to address the pandemic as a “very bad flu season, much worse than others”. “Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were, they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it”, the official noted to “The Washington Post”.
In late January, Trump’s aides met with the White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in an attempt to reach higher-level officials to monitor the virus. Again, Trump did not take the outbreak seriously because he did not think it was around much in the United States, praising China’s handling of the pandemic, despite the numerous warnings that Chinese officials are providing inaccurate data.
In late February, while returning from India, Trump complained that senior CDC official Nancy Messonnier was frightening investors with her assessment that changes to normal life could be severe.