Here is some clarity about the ABC News story on a November report about the virus outbreak in China.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/u-s-spy-agencies-collected-raw-intel-hinting-public-health-n1180646

Nothing nefarious, evidently. Raw intelligence in November, but it did not get into the President’s Daily Briefing until January.

17 thoughts on “Here is some clarity about the ABC News story on a November report about the virus outbreak in China.

  1. Small quibble with your wording.

    The item reached the President’s briefing book in January, but that does not mean it was included in the Daily Briefing.

    Not everything in the briefing book is raised in the briefing, only those the staff thinks need the President’s attention. I think the last President to actually read the entire briefing book regularly may have been Nixon.

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    1. Probably so. What was interesting in the article or a link is that some intelligence info may take weeks to interpret and massage before it is sent to the White House.

      Staffing and advisors are critical to a president. No way even a workaholic could keep up with everything. So having staff that is expert, direct and not afraid to challenge is important. I am not sure that the revolving door in this administration provides that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “having staff that is expert, direct and not afraid to challenge is important“

        True, and critically important.

        It is sadly ironic that those are the VERY qualities that gets you fired from THIS Administration…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The article jives with the various reports I’ve been reading.

    At this point I think we can safely assume it wasn’t until mid-January that enough information was available to begin taking EFFECTIVE action.

    I wish our leadership had done so, but I continue to be impressed with the will of the American people to step up (and step back). Isolation is our best (and only) weapon to fight the virus and needs to be maintained until medical experts deem otherwise.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Perhaps.

        But just a phone call to get the test kits rolling then would have exposed the problem 4-6 weeks earlier. Which, as it turns out would put us much further along.

        And listening to Azar about his concerns rather than labeling him an alarmist, should have prompted the action to check our supplies.

        I honestly can’t understand the reluctance to get prepped in January even if the president wanted to not panic us. He said he still knew himself it was a pandemic. He didn’t even heed his own appointees or his own “gut” obviously.

        Will that be the modus operandi for future crisis: ignore, deny, soothe, wait, wait, then PANIC BUTTON.

        He will need to answer for that in November.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. @Tabor

        Bomb the FDA?

        Still laughable nonsense. The FDA has been under the management of Donald Trump for three years now. Whatever bureaucratic obstacles they present the President has the authority to override them in an emergency – something he has now done but about two months late. Didn’t want to spook the stock market.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. “The FDA has been under the management of Donald Trump for three years now.”

          That’s a really good point, and for the first 2 years control of BOTH Houses of Congress.

          By most definitions that’s carte blanche. Just one of MANY things they did NOTHING about and are blaming others for…SMFH.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Sure, Trump should have overcome 70 years of entrenched bureaucracy in 3 years dealing with an agency that most people, wrongly, believes protects them.

          All while dismantling other bureaucracies and fighting an impeachment battle that began before he took office.

          I didn’t notice he was wearing a red cape.

          But if you were honest enough to admit it, no matter what Trump did, it would have been wrong.

          Had Trump clamped down on ‘social distancing’ earlier and harder, you would be wailing that he had needlessly put millions of Americans out of work and made destitute. And you would be using that some reduction in estimated deaths as evidence he had acted in haste.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. @Tabor

            A competent manager upon learning of an existential threat would have taken the trouble to pull in the experts immediately, take stock of the situation, and issue marching orders where needed. Trump did not do that. He dilly dallied, lied and played golf for 70 days from when that should have happened. As a result we have fared far worse than other countries facing similar problems.

            A competent President would not turn daily briefings into a campaign venue where he attacks the press, the other party, lies, distorts and brags. Instead he would make a few appearances where he would offer carefully prepared and carefully delivered words of empathy and encouragement. He would then leave the daily briefings to the experts and let them present expert advice.

            This pandemic was Trump’s last chance to save his Presidency and his legacy. He completely blew it and you know it as well as I do. Your pretending otherwise is evidence of the very deeply rooted intellectual dishonesty at the heart of Trumpism.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. The first case of coronavirus in the US not in a person who had traveled to a hotspot was not until Feb 27.

            Prior to that it was believed that travel restrictions and quarantine of people who had traveled might keep it from becoming endemic in the US.

            Travel restrictions and business closing within the US would not have been appropriate until mid March, and even then, it should have been at the discretion of governors, as the problem did not reach all places at the same time.

            Judging based on hindsight is bad enough, but revising history is simply fraud.

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          3. Trump didn’t even listen to his own advisors in January. Or even his own instincts since he told us he knew it was a pandemic himself.

            It was not a matter of FDA, that is your scapegoat.

            Azar implored Trump to act. We needed to check the SNS, make sure our testing worked then. If not, Germany had one that worked. An XO from Trump and we are testing a month earlier.

            If the administration knew we had a pandemic and they did absolutely nothing, that is criminal. Trump has cranked out XO’s like confetti destroying our air and water. He couldn’t do that with the FDA when he knew we had a serious problem on the way?

            If he didn’t know until March that there was a pandemic we would call him ignorant. But he knew in January.

            I know it is hard to admit he screwed the pooch big time. But he did.

            And it is that knowing and failure to act that makes Trump a problem.

            The investigation for this story is very thorough. And none of the information has been shown to be wrong.

            Liked by 3 people

          4. @Tabor

            You are the fraud here. You always are with your cherry-picking, sophistry and just plain disdain for the truth. It is obvious in your continuing to pretend that Trump did not completely blow this pandemic. With his stupidity, laziness, dishonesty, indifference and a grotesquely twisted value system.

            LONG before February 27th the government knew the severity of what we faced. Trump claims he knew it before just about everyone. And yet Trump did nothing. NOTHING. Except lie his ass off to the American people with phony reassurances and baseless predictions.
            Did he assess the stockpile? No?
            Did he assess the state of testing ability? No.
            Did he listen to anybody? No.
            Did he report honestly to the American people? No.

            You do not need hindsight to be highly critical when we now know what he knew and when he knew it. Or you could watch him any day at his so-called briefings. Wrong in every way.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Let’s assume the ‘government’ knew it was going to get bad before there were any community transmission cases in the US. So? DO you shut down the schools and businesses before there is a need to do so, and start depleting people’s savings and credit by putting them out of work before it is necessary?

            Why would he check on the testing when the FDA said it had that under control?

            I might, because I wouldn’t believe the FDA if they were reporting the time of day, but why would you expect Trump to know that the tests the FDA and CDC said were ready to fail?

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          6. @Tabor

            Your defense of Trump doing nothing that a competent manager would do amounts to . . .

            “So what? He is such a dumbass that he would not have accomplished anything. If the FDA told him that everything was Okay, how could HE challenge THAT? And what does HE know about what is needed in a pandemic versus what was in the stockpile. I mean really.”

            As I have pointed out, even if we want to cut him some slack on the stockpile and the testing, how do you defend two months of lying to the public? You can’t, of course. Trump’s often effective gas lighting proved powerless against this reality. Instead his efforts along those lines made it far worse.

            Re: “before there is a need to do so” There WAS a need to do so. Other countries at the same stage as we were in February saw the need and acted on it. Trump did not. Even as his experts told him of the need.

            Like you, Trump put the state of the economy ahead the lives of the people. Maybe because like you he could not see a future with anything except the dog eat dog world of unfettered capitalism – a world where people facing grave threats lose their livelihood AND their healthcare with nothing to stop their free fall into abject poverty.

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          7. So, Trump should have known the FDA was lying when they told him they had effective testing ready to go? Should he also be checking the wiring of the warheads in our nuclear submarines to be sure the Navy isn’t lying too? At some point you have to delegate.

            Here is video of your beloved Dr Fauci from March 8 discussing whether it was time to move from containment to mitigation. (starts at about 19 minutes)

            https://edhub.ama-assn.org/jn-learning/video-player/18296386

            So, yes, Mid February was too soon. People will only stay home so long, and if you burn through their savings before it is doing any good, they will be back in circulation too soon. (Note that Fauci has been doing a bit of historical revision himself, Faulting Trump for doing what he was recommending at the time)

            And it is you who is obsessed with money, not me, not Trump. After all, I am one of those most likely to die if we blow this, but I live in the real world. Desperate people will sacrifice the vulnerable if they can’t feed their children or keep their homes. It’s not about saving the stock market, it’s about timing the shutdown for maximum effect.

            But you are so blinded by your hatred for Trump that you will not see that.

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