Thursday, April 02, 2020

Sometimes It's Not Ignorance

Well, now we know: Donald Trump was telling the truth. It's a rarely seen occurrence- not on the scale of a sighting of an unidentified flying object, but rare.  On March 17

"I've always known this is a real, this is a pandemic," Trump said. "I've felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."

Trump reemphasized that point in a tweet the next morning.

“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China,” Trump tweeted March 18.

He's lying about always treating it seriously:

Trump lying is akin to taking a breath, as ubiquitous as sun shining in southern Arizona and light air on the Louisiana coast. It's what he does, constantly, continually, and effortlessly.  But he did know it was real and if not a potential pandemic, certainly a potential epidemic. Trump's staff knew and he knew. The best evidence is 

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they 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.

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 by the coronavirus.

Intelligence agencies “have been warning on this since January,” said a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting that was disseminated to members of Congress and their staffs as well as to officials in the Trump administration, and who, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive information.

If Trump didn't understand there was a danger- and he did- he could have learned from the Democratic presidential contender who in late January wrote

The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more.

"I've always known this real...." President Trump has stated.  Ignorance explains less than does evil. Take it from someone who knows:

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