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White House Warned Of Coronavirus In November

ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response
Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources "Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," a source says.
When the White House was first warned of coronavirus
 
 
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When the White House was first warned of coronavirusAccording to an exclusive ABC News investigation the National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and White House about the spread of the virus in China as far back as late November.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect comment from the Pentagon.

 

As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents.

 

The report was the result of analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images. It raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia -- forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.

"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. Wednesday night, the Pentagon issued a statement denying the "product/assessment" existed.

 

From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January, the sources said. For something to have appeared in the PDB, it would have had to go through weeks of vetting and analysis, according to people who have worked on presidential briefings in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

 

"The timeline of the intel side of this may be further back than we’re discussing," the source said of preliminary reports from Wuhan. "But this was definitely being briefed beginning at the end of November as something the military needed to take a posture on."

 

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

 
Ambulance medical staff arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with an elderly woman, who recovered from COVID-19, at Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, March 30, 2020.AFP via Getty Images, FILE

 

The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Following the report’s release, other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving, the sources said. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.

"It would be a significant alarm that would have been set off by this," former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Mick Mulroy, now an ABC News contributor, said of the NCMI report. "And it would have been something that would be followed up by literally every intelligence-collection agency."

 

Mulroy, who previously served as a senior official at the CIA, said NCMI does serious work that senior government leaders do not ignore.

"Medical intelligence takes into account all source information -- imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence," Mulroy said. "Then there’s analysis by people who know those specific areas. So for something like this to have come out, it has been reviewed by experts in the field. They’re taking together what those pieces of information mean and then looking at the potential for an international health crisis."

 

Asked about the November warning last Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "I can't recall, George. But we have many people who watch this closely. We have the premier infectious disease research institute in America, within the United States Army. So, our people who work these issues directly watch this all the time."

 

Pressing the secretary, Stephanopoulos asked, "So, you would have known if there was briefed to the National Security Council in December, wouldn't you?"

Esper said, "Yes. I'm not aware of that."

 
 



 
Embedded video
 
 
.@Gstephanopoulos: "Did the Pentagon receive an intelligence assessment on COVID in China last November from the National Center for Medical Intelligence?"


Defense Sec. Mark Esper: "I can’t recall, George, but we have many people that watch this closely." https://t.co/d9XlhTygln pic.twitter.com/E89i7DjF4t

— ABC News (@ABC) April 5, 2020

 

The Pentagon did not comment Tuesday, but on Wednesday evening following the publication of this report, the Defense Department provided a statement from Col. R. Shane Day, Director of the NCMI.

"As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists," the statement said.

The White House National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

 

Critics have charged the Trump administration with being flat-footed and late in its response to a pandemic that, after sweeping through Wuhan and then parts of Europe, has now killed more than 12,000 in the U.S.

 

For his part, President Donald Trump has alternated between taking credit for early action and claiming that the coronavirus was a surprise to him and everyone else. He has repeatedly touted his Jan. 31 decision to restrict air travel with China, but at the same time, he spent weeks telling the public and top administration officials that there was nothing for Americans to fear.

 

On Jan. 22, for instance, Trump made his first comments about the virus when asked in a CNBC interview, "Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?" The president responded, "No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine."

Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images
Passengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.
Passengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.    Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images

 

As late as Feb. 19, Trump was offering positive reviews for the way China’s leaders had handled the coronavirus.

"I'm confident that they're trying very hard," Trump told an interviewer from Fox 10 in Phoenix. "They're working it -- they built, they built a hospital in seven days, and now they're building another one. I think it's going to work out fine."

 

It was not until March 13 when Trump declared a national emergency and mobilized the vast resources of the federal government to help public-health agencies deal with the crisis that was poised to crash on to the homeland.

 
Disaster in motion: Where flights from coronavirus-ravaged countries landed in US

If it were true that America’s spy agencies were caught that off guard, one intelligence official told ABC News, "that would be a massive intel failure on the order of 9/11. But it wasn’t. They had the intelligence."

 

ABC News contributor John Cohen, who used to oversee intelligence operations at the Department of Homeland Security, said even the best information would be of no use if officials do not act on it.

"When responding to a public health crisis or any other serious security threat, it is critical that our leaders react quickly and take steps to address the threat identified in the intelligence reporting," said Cohen, the former acting undersecretary of DHS. "It’s not surprising to me that the intelligence community detected the outbreak; what is surprising and disappointing is that the White House ignored the clear warning signs, failed to follow established pandemic response protocols and were slow to put in place a government-wide effort to respond to this crisis."

 

ABC News' Katherine Faulders, Luis Martinez and Terrance Smith contributed to this report.

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis-early-november-sources...


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

    Sadly, this is not SNARK.    The information was accumulated via 5 Eyes - joint spy operation  that everyone should remember:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

 

    When one reads other nations news of Covid19 outbreak, they include the information that was included int the PDB. = Presidential Daily Briefing.    The event that Donald does not give much value.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/coronavirus-pandemic-covid-canadian-military-intelligence-wuhan-1.5...

 

    Each time Donald says he doesn't know anything - it is an admission that he failed basic due diligence of his job.    

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@afisher wrote:

    Sadly, this is not SNARK.    The information was accumulated via 5 Eyes - joint spy operation  that everyone should remember:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

 

    When one reads other nations news of Covid19 outbreak, they include the information that was included int the PDB. = Presidential Daily Briefing.    The event that Donald does not give much value.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/coronavirus-pandemic-covid-canadian-military-intelligence-wuhan-1.5...

 

    Each time Donald says he doesn't know anything - it is an admission that he failed basic due diligence of his job.    


You are exactly right.  Trump knew of this even if he didn't read about it because all of our intelligence and his staff knew. tRump's denial and inaction has cost thouseand of American lives.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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Honored Social Butterfly

Interesting. So tRump appointees in the Military intel community knew in NOVEMBER there was a major problem with a virulent disease in Asia, but somehow neglected to pass this on to the Captain and crew of the USS  T Roosevelt CVN-71 prior to their liberty call in Da Nang Vietnam o/a 27 Feb.

 

Yet another excellent reason to never again even consider putting a psychopathic gutless draft-dodger in the White House. It's not JUST him, it's all the similarily inclined twits he appoints to positions of power.

Honored Social Butterfly

but somehow neglected to pass this on to the Captain and crew of the USS  T Roosevelt CVN-71 prior to their liberty call in Da Nang Vietnam o/a 27 Feb.

 

Yeah, Trump put the whole crew in harms way and then fired the Captain when the Captain  spoke up for the crew.

 

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@Olderscout66 wrote:

Interesting. So tRump appointees in the Military intel community knew in NOVEMBER there was a major problem with a virulent disease in Asia, but somehow neglected to pass this on to the Captain and crew of the USS  T Roosevelt CVN-71 prior to their liberty call in Da Nang Vietnam o/a 27 Feb.

 

Yet another excellent reason to never again even consider putting a psychopathic gutless draft-dodger in the White House. It's not JUST him, it's all the similarily inclined twits he appoints to positions of power.


That 's why trump got rid of all that he got rid of and why he has appointed who he has appointed. We have to get this slime out of office.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

To realize that the trump administration knew of the virus in 2019 is totally believable. What is unbelievable is the total ignorance, and inaction of all of the occupants of the trump clown car, and the driver, trump, has blood on his hands, and owns this "trump virus". 

We need to keep a close watch, trump wants to drive Us off of a cliff...but he could care less!...We care. 

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@williamb39198 wrote:

To realize that the trump administration knew of the virus in 2019 is totally believable. What is unbelievable is the total ignorance, and inaction of all of the occupants of the trump clown car, and the driver, trump, has blood on his hands, and owns this "trump virus". 

We need to keep a close watch, trump wants to drive Us off of a cliff...but he could care less!...We care. 


Those in his administration that knew this and the Republicans for not standing up to trump have "blood on their hands too. They all need taken out of Washington.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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I have no faith that the current administration will do an appropriate hot wash of this whole fiasco to determine where we did well, where we didn't, how we should prepare in the future.  Like we did after 9/11.  

 

State governments are required to have balanced budgets.   They can plan for unforeseen events and fund them, but only to a certain extent.  The federal government must be the primary funding source for "national" emergencies. 

 

Should states have public health emergency reserves as a separate funding and savings mechanism?  If so, to what extent?  States beefed up their Homeland Security preparation and training, funded largely by federal grants.   Will we see the same for Public Health preparation and training?  Will the feds reinstate prior research funding to hospitals and universities?  Will they increase it to help streamline vaccine research and production?

 

And what other nationals crises do we possibly face?   How are we planning for those?

Honored Social Butterfly

It's very possible that the Covid19 virus came from a formerly existing Covid virus, as these viruses mutate, this one already has since discovered.

 

The White House was warned of this in November, trump waiting to take action when he did is simply unacceptable to me and should be to everyone.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

It's very possible that the Covid19 virus came from a formerly existing Covid virus, as these viruses mutate, this one already has since discovered.

 

RNA viruses are genetically unstable

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ChasKy53:  It's very possible that the Covid19 virus came from a formerly existing Covid virus, as these viruses mutate, this one already has since discovered.

 

 

I heard a bit about this last week. I'll try to find it. Anyway, the thinking is that this virus has been in humans for a good while but was not the monster it is now until a mutation occurred recently.

Honored Social Butterfly

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230405 

 

As noted, these values do not correspond to the actual per day mortality and recovery rates as these would demand the exact knowledge of the corresponding time delays. Having provided an estimation of the above “effective” approximate values of the parameters β and γ, an approximation of the “effective” infected rate α, that is not biased by the assumption of S = N, can be obtained by using the SIRD simulator. In particular, in the SIRD model, the values of the β and γ parameters were set equal to the ones found using the reported data solving the corresponding least squares problems given by Eqs (14) and (15). As initial conditions we have set one infected person on the 16th of November and ran the simulator until the last date for which there are available data (here up to the 10th of February). Then, the optimal value of the infection rate α that fits the reported data was found by “wrapping” around the SIRD simulator an optimization algorithm (such as a nonlinear least-squares solver) to solve the problem: (16

Honored Social Butterfly

White House Warned Of Coronavirus In November

 

I read somewhere the virus started in late November based on math models using case numbers.

 

This article confirms the November outbreak

 

Well before the wet market outbreak.

 

Based on that is seems possible, perhaps even likely it was humans that infected the animals at the wet market, not animals that infected humans at the wet market.

 

The virus probably did jump from animals to humans, maybe it was bats,  we don't know how that happened.  Bats live in people's homes in China, just like they do in the USA.

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