Trump was given 'more than a dozen' secret briefings on the coronavirus threat early on: report

Trump was given 'more than a dozen' secret briefings on the coronavirus threat early on: report
President Donald J. Trump participates in a Christmas Day video teleconference from the Oval Office Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, with military service members stationed at remote sites worldwide to thank them for their service to our nation. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

One of the issues presented by a global pandemic is that it affects the entire world. That means that every functioning government official is paying attention to it because in some shape or form, it has the potential to create enormous disruptions in every walk of life. The Washington Post is reporting “more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February,” at a time when we all remember Donald Trump explaining how the virus would just “disappear” and “go away.”


According to the Post, Trump seems to have somehow missed the “more than a dozen” briefings placed in his President’s Daily Brief (PDB), which covered the wide range of political, economic, and public health crises that a global pandemic might create. This isn’t a single session with the Centers for Disease Control, but a prolonged attempt by many in the government, worried about issues of national security, to try and impart crucial information to the dumbest man to have this much power in the history of the world.

The PDBs are a daily synthesis of global events and issues. They are supposed to help the president of the United States get a clear view of the pressing problems we face as a country, and hopefully inform their list of priorities. For example, a growing worldwide pandemic will lead to enormous issues across not only our country, but the world. Examples of some of the things that can happen due to a global pandemic can be seen right now; we are living it because Donald Trump and his administration failed to act early enough, and subsequently hasn’t been able to get on top of it.

But Trump skips most of his daily briefings, and supposedly can barely handle the even more dumbed down “oral summary he now takes two or three times per week.” The Office of the Director of National Intelligence told the Post that “The detail of this is not true.” Whatever that means? The official reportedly did not “explain or elaborate,” though I imagine he just jumped out of his office window and into a car to speed off into the desert.

The Trump administration will say Trump wasn’t briefed, or at the very least Trump himself will say he wasn’t briefed. Or maybe he will say he was and he clearly did everything possible, but some magical person from the past thwarted his efforts. Who knows? Whatever Trump ends up saying, you can put your money on one thing: it won’t be the truth.

One week ago, Trump boasted that his administration was only going to have 60,000 dead Americans on its hands. As of Monday, April 27, we are about to blow past that number.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.