Trump's daily briefing book warned of the coronavirus' threat more than a dozen times. But White House officials say Trump rarely, if ever, reads them.
Donald Trump was warned about the threat the novel coronavirus posed to the United States more than a dozen times in January and February, the Washington Post reported Monday night.
However, those warnings may not have gotten to Trump, according to the Post, because they were written in the President's Daily Brief, a report drawn up each morning that summarizes the nation's top security threats and other pressing global developments. Trump is known to routinely ignore the report.
The briefs from earlier in the year included detailed information about how deadly and contagious the virus was, and noted that it could cause what the Washington Post described as "dire political and economic consequences."
The briefs also warned that China was suppressing information about the virus — even as Trump was publicly praising China for its "transparency" about the virus.
The discrepancies between what the briefs were warning of and what Trump was saying publicly might be thanks to Trump's refusal to read them, as well as his refusal to listen to summaries of the books from aides, multiple administration officials told the Post.
The briefs ended up being right.
To date, at least 986,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the United States, with over 55,800 dying from the virus, according to the Post's more recent count.
And at least 26.5 million people have lost their jobs due to social distancing measures put in place to stop the virus' spread.
The information from the daily brief books could play a major role in the congressional investigation into Trump's coronavirus response, which is being led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.