Remember the warning “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US was the title of the President’s Daily Brief prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and given to U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday, August 6, 2001. Bush did nothing. Here we are again:
New details about the “ominous” warnings about COVID-19 coronavirus were reported by The Washington Post
“U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen,” the newspaper reported, citing “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,” The Post reported.
“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,” the newspaper reported.
A new timeline on the warnings is coming into focus.
“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,” the newspaper explained.
“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” the official said. “The system was blinking red.”
A round-up of Trump’s most recent lies and failings:
Medical expert Dr. Joseph Fair suggested that irresponsible Trump’s press events themselves are putting America at risk — because he is misinforming the public and a number of his supporters will believe every word of his speeches.
“We get conflicting messages between what’s happening on the ground versus what you see in a White House briefing,” said Fair, speaking with MSNBC host Ali Velshi. “And that leads to, you know, half of the people not taking this seriously because, you know, there are cult-like followers of every White House briefing, they take every word of that for truth.”
“All you have to do is walk into a hospital to see that that is not the reality on the ground, and so you listen to your troops on the ground if you’re in a war, and we’re in a wartime situation with this disease,” added Fair.
In a brutally blunt piece for the New York Times, columnist Jennifer Senior went scorched earth on Donald Trump for his lie-filled performances in the now daily press briefings on the coronavirus pandemic — suggesting the media call them what they are: Presidential “propaganda.”
Following a day when the combative belligerent Trump attacked NBC reporter Peter Alexander for merely asking what he could say to the public that is living in fear of the pandemic, Senior said enough is enough.
“In a time of global emergency, we need calm, directness and, above all, hard facts. Only the opposite is on offer from the Trump White House. It is, therefore, time to call the Trump news conferences for what they are: propaganda,” she wrote. “We may as well be watching newsreels approved by the Soviet Politburo. We’re witnessing the falsification of history in real-time. When Donald Trump, under the guise of social distancing, told the White House press corps on Thursday that he ought to get rid of 75 to 80 percent of them — reserving the privilege only for those he liked — it may have been chilling, but it wasn’t surprising. He wants to thin out their ranks until there’s only Pravda in the room.”According to the columnist, are Trump’s press conferences full of bluster and lies………..
Friday’s contentious press conference should be the tipping point journalists and most citizens that look to their leader for the truth.
“At his Thursday news conference, a discussion of chloroquine and other experimental therapies formed the core of his remarks, when those drugs and therapies are untested and unproven and, in some cases, won’t be ready for several months, as NBC’s Peter Alexander pointed out the following day,” she recalled. “‘What do you say to Americans who are scared?’ Alexander pressed. ‘I say that you’re a terrible reporter,’ Trump answered. Only a liar — and a weak man with delusions of competence — would be so unnerved by the facts.”
“Most dangerous of all is Trump’s insistence that things are fine, or will be shortly, that they’ll be stronger and better and greater than ever. We don’t have any evidence that this is true, and Trump finds any suggestion to the contrary quite rude. When a journalist pointed out to him on Thursday that the economy had all but ground to halt, Trump cut him off,” she explained. “Here’s the truth: Things might be hard — unfathomably hard — for months, perhaps even north of a year. Anyone who’s reading or listening to other sources of news besides Trump knows that. It takes sensitivity and strength and intelligence to speak truthfully to the public about imminent hardship, the prospect of enduring pain.”
According to Politico, some members of the Trump administration are angry that there is no coordinated policy to protect government workers during a time of crisis — with some agencies responding quickly to cases in their workforces, and others withholding the information.
“The federal agency that serves as an international multimedia broadcaster for the U.S. informed all employees of its first known coronavirus case about an hour after it knew,” wrote Nolan McCaskill. “But the agency responsible for regulating civil aviation in the U.S. didn’t immediately tell technical operations employees about a positive test result at a Las Vegas airport, allowing them to continue working in a potentially infected area. Those employees, including technicians who had just completed their shifts, found out after a tower was evacuated.”
“If the Trump administration has a unified policy on how it is handling the grim march of the virus within its own ranks, it isn’t sharing it,” continued the report. “Just as cities and states across the country have developed their own responses to the outbreak — from closing schools, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and a mix of other venues to encouraging curfews and issuing shelter-in-place orders — agencies across the federal government are crafting their own policies on how to disclose cases of coronavirus. The result is a confusing jumble of messages that has angered federal workers and those who represent them.”
The problem, noted McCaskill, is compounded by the unique exposure of workers in certain agencies. “State has more than 75,000 employees, with more than 9,000 Foreign Service and Civil Service officers scattered overseas. DHS employs more than 240,000 workers, many of whom interact with people daily for work, such as employees with Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. And the Department of Defense has roughly 26,000 employees inside its Pentagon headquarters in Virginia, but employs nearly 3 million service members and civilians worldwide, with a presence in more than 160 countries and nearly 5,000 defense sites.”
Workers are outraged about this inability to coordinate, and fear it will make everything worse.
“We’ve been getting a lot of mixed information,” said Mike Perrone, the president of the aviation workers’ union whose workers were put in danger by the Las Vegas incident. “Trump has put out different information, then OMB puts out guidance, and then the DOT secretary puts out guidance and then the FAA administrator puts out guidance.”
“Nobody said nothing for how many hours? And they knew about it?” he continued. “I’m frustrated — very frustrated — because literally people are going to get sick and people could potentially die or spread it to their families.”
The coronavirus crisis calls for a real leader — and it’s time for Trump to step aside: columnist
Washington Post, columnist Colbert King said it is time for Donald Trump to exit the spotlight as the country deals with coronavirus pandemic that is killing Americans due to his delays and poor management of the government during the health crisis.
Following yet another coronavirus task force press conference on Friday where Trump took over and made it all about himself, King said it is time for Trump to — at least — retreat to shadows and let the professionals do their jobs without interference.
Noting that Trump has tried to soft-sell the dangers the pandemic still might unleash by saying, “We will just get through it,” the columnist said Trump still doesn’t get it despite the rocketing infection rates.
“At issue is not whether we will ‘get through’ the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease officially dubbed covid-19. Pandemics eventually play out. Though this dangerous virus is spiraling out of control today — infecting more than 250,000 people and killing more than 11,000 since December — it will not be here forever,” he wrote before adding, “What matters most at this moment is how the onslaught is being handled. Is it being addressed head-on as a global pandemic that, above all else, must be combated? Or is the outbreak being treated as an unexpected threat to Trump’s personal political fortunes?
Sadly, with all the country now has on its hands, Trump has politicized and personalized the problem.”
According to the columnist, Trump has continually played down the coronavirus threat long before it was designated a pandemic — and he no longer has any credibility when he tries to reassure the public.
“Besides spouting untruths and wild exaggerations, Trump deflects challenges to his stewardship by shifting blame — to former President Barack Obama and past administrations, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats on the Hill, to the Federal Reserve, and to the media, which, he whines, only give him bad press,” he wrote. “Now, confronted with hard truths about the disease, his administration’s muddled response, and the country’s economic collapse, Trump is trying to switch hats from belittler in chief to wartime commander. But our great war presidents had great wartime generals: Harry Truman had Dwight D. Eisenhower; Abraham Lincoln had Ulysses S. Grant. Vice President Pence, who is heading up Trump’s coronavirus task force, is no Eisenhower or Grant.”
“And Trump sure as hell is no Truman or Lincoln,” he dryly concluded.
from Raw Story, Salon, Washington Post, and MSNBC