The Very Specific Details about the COVID Warnings from the “Deep State”

Last Friday, Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General who treated the Ukraine whistleblower complaint as mandated by law. Yesterday, Adam Schiff wrote a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, warning him that the Committee was reviewing whether Trump fired Atkinson to undercut ongoing investigations and asking for assurances Grenell had not and would not tamper in anything the replacement Acting IG, Thomas Monheim, was investigating.

“The Committee is reviewing the circumstances of Mr. Atkinson’s dismissal, including whether his termination was intended to curb any ongoing investigations or reviews being undertaken by his office,” Schiff wrote.

Schiff asked Grenell to provide a written certification to his committee that he would not interfere with the work of future officials in that role and that he certify he has never interfered in the work of Thomas Monheim, now the acting inspector general of the intelligence community.

Grenell responded by acting like the online troll he is, falsely claiming that Schiff had “leaked” (AKA, released) the letter before he actually sent it to him.

Take all that as background to this ABC story. It describes both the source of intelligence behind a report on how aggressive the virus was in Wuhan, and the chain via which it ended up in Trump’s Presidential Daily Brief in early January.

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents.

The report was the result of analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images. It raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia — forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.

“Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. “It was then briefed multiple times to” the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January, the sources said.

The intelligence came from wire and computer intercept and satellite images, both incredibly sensitive intelligence. And the report made its way from the National Center for Medical Intelligence in November to DIA, the Joint Staff, and the White House in December, to Trump in early January.

The report doesn’t actually push the time when Trump could be expected to know of this warning, it pushes the timeline back for others in the chain of command. But it does make it clear that people in that chain of command took it seriously enough to keep elevating it.

And then, Trump ignored it.

Yes, this is leaking to add to the political accountability on Trump’s refusal to listen. But it’s also a remarkably detailed report about the work of intelligence — the value that the Deep State brought to an issue that threatens to sink Trump’s presidency — that, partly because of his intellectual limits and partly because of his distrust of the “Deep State,” Trump ignored.

If this stuff can’t be shared via proper channels we may see more of it in the press in the coming months.

Update: On Twitter, Brian Beutler noted that George Stephanopoulos laid the groundwork for this story when hosting Mike Esper on Sunday.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said at top of this interview that the Pentagon has been ahead of the curve every day, and you mentioned in January. But did the Pentagon receive an intelligence assessment on COVID in China last November from the National Center for Medical Intelligence of DIA?

ESPER: Oh, I can’t recall, George. But our — we have many people that watch this closely. We have the premier infectious disease research institute in America, within the United States Army. So, our people who work these issues directly watch this all the time.

As you know, the first patient in the United States was discovered in late January. We activated our global pandemic response plans on 1 February. I issued guidance to the force for force protection on 3 February. And we didn’t see our first casualty in the United States — and God rest their soul — until 29 February.

So, you can see, we were weeks ahead of this in terms of preparing our own force and opening up our stockpile to the rest of the government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s in January, because, reportedly, this assessment was done in November, and it was briefed to the NSC in early December to assess the impact on military readiness, which, of course, would make it important to you, and the possible spread in the United States.

So, you would have known if there were briefed to the National Security Council in December, wouldn’t you?

ESPER: Yes, I’m not aware of that. I will tell you, again, our folks work this all the time. That’s why we have a global pandemic response plan that I initiated on February 1st. That’s why we have stockpiles of strategic supplies, whether it’s masks, gowns, PPE, ventilators, all those things we need.

115 replies
  1. Thelonius M says:

    Fuck this president, his criminal administration, his family, his father’s family, his father’s father’s family, his father’s father’s father’s family, all the way back to cave dwellers, and fuck them thoroughly well!

    Then, call every damn GOP senator sitting around with their thumbs up their asses and yell at them like your hairs on fire!

  2. Peterr says:

    For all the attention that folks put on whiz-bang gizmos, the real work of the intelligence community is to take the raw material they gather and make sense out of it. To translate materials from a foreign language requires an enormous facility not just in the words and grammar, but in the culture of the country. A big part of that cultural understanding, for the IC, involves knowledge of the governmental culture (and in this case, its intersection with the scientific culture). When the IC can use that cultural knowledge and exploit the flaws and weaknesses it reveals in the other country’s government, that’s how they go on the offensive.

    As much as the IC folks might not like having an IG watching over their shoulder, they also appreciate having an IG so that if they are pressured to do something illegal, or cover up the illegal acts of others, they’ve got a place to go to protect themselves. Trump fired ICIG Atkinson on Friday, and today the IC fired back.


    “Mr. President, you can lie to the media. You can lie to your base. You can lie to your staff. You can lie to Congress. You can lie to your enemies. You can lie to the world. But we have the receipts. So don’t you dare lie about us. Sir.”

    The IC knows how this game is played, because they play it every day in every country of the world. Trump, OTOH, is not just a rookie, but a rookie in well over his head.

        • pverby says:

          You could have made that clearer (quotes?) and achieved the same point that Drump will be frightened that other IC leakers are out there.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      Hi Peterr, about this quote “Mr. President, you can lie to the media. You can lie to your base. You can lie to your staff…” Do you have a source? I didn’t see it in Dr. Wheeler’s post above and I’d like to know about its context. Thanks!

      • Peterr says:

        It’s the threat implied by the IC, as I see it.

        IOW, snark.

        But you can be sure that if Trump doesn’t recognize that this leak means what I put in that imaginary quote, someone will explain it to him.

          • Peterr says:

            Today’s Covid Task Force daily presser could be rather interesting in that regard. I’m sure someone will ask about Trump’s opinion of the ABC story, and he may re-enact his initial response right out in public.

            I can hear it now: “Fake news . . . deep state . . . political opponents . . . her emails . . . Shifty Schiff . . . Nancy Pelosi . . . leakers and whistleblowers . . . ”

            (Oh, wait. The “her emails” just kind of slipped out by force of habit.)

  3. Desider says:

    If I recall correct, it was during this period that Trump was brazenly sending Rudy back to Ukraine plus trying to get more Hunter dirt out of China. Hard for Trump to do his illegal hit jobs what with Dems doing an impeachment witchhunt on what he admitted doing plus pushing that Coronavirus hoax that keeps growing.
    Will there ever be a reckoning for all this madness, or will we change guard like in 2008 and then the start it up again w/o skipping a beat?

  4. CCM says:

    Interesting to think what an outbreak of what would eventually be a pandemic looks like to an intelligence service. The news services the average person relies on depends on government press releases and a limited network of human sources. Intelligence services may have access to all the panicked phone calls from the medical community to government offices, emergent supply requests, data prior to editing, satellite data showing changes in traffic, supply, ambulance. My guess is the Chinese were in full panic mode and via signals were picking that fact up.

    • Peterr says:

      That may be, but there’s also the international medical research grapevine. Yes, even the Chinese researchers are part of that — though their participation is clearly under the very watchful eyes of the CCP operatives. As the medical mess began to spiral out of control, I suspect that at some point, Chinese medical research folks were allowed to carefully make some inquiries in broader academic circles. These would not go unnoticed, both because of their rarity and their subject matter.

      To me, the interesting piece is how the IC shares that news. Sharing it with the DOD is not a particular problem, as the DOD knows how to handle classified information without letting on that they’ve got something juicy here. Sharing it with State becomes trickier. State knows how to handle classified information, but they’ve got a huge problem with taking action on what they know without revealing something. At the beginning, all they can do is to alert everyone to be on the lookout for information from other sources that they can use to justify taking action without revealing the sources and methods of their earlier information. Sharing it with the CDC, FDA, NIH, and other public health agencies is much more dicey. If the IC lets them in on it early, then it comes with a warning that says “but you can’t take any actions that would let on that we even know about this outbreak — you start some big disease prep program and the Chinese are going to figure out that we’re tapping into their comms, and that will be a much bigger mess than this disease outbreak will be.”

      Until there’s some other information source for people to point to, the IC is going to be very very reluctant to let anyone take any public actions that would compromise their sources.

      • P J Evans says:

        It should have been the sign to get planning moving, check all the stockpiles and make sure everything was ready to go.

        • Peterr says:

          But even that is risky from the IC perspective.

          Suppose DHS/HHS started looking at their stockpiles, and realized that they were well short of what was needed. If they they suddenly put in orders for millions of items, that’s going to get a lot of attention, especially since a non-trivial amount of these things have a supply chain that (under normal circumstances) moves through China.

          Maybe the IC will decide you’ve got to do that anyway. But the IC has to ask that question.

    • makomk says:

      That is an extremely interesting question in this case, because November is very early. All the publicly-available information has doctors in Wuhan first suspecting something was wrong in December and becoming increasingly alarmed as the month wore on. In order for this very specific claim that the intelligence community knew in November to be true, they’d either have to have spotted this before the doctors did or there has to be some doctor in Wuhan who rang the alarm bells even earlier than previously thought and who was so thoroughly silenced that no journalist anywhere has heard about this. Either of those would have implications that are much bigger than some squabble about what the US government should’ve done when, and worryingly the journalists who’ve reported this story just don’t seem to realize this at all.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Note to CDC: “Asymptomatic” does not mean “non-contagious.” Quite the opposite.

    So, why would you change your “stay at home” rules to allow people to go back to work 14 days after exposure, if they are not symptomatic? Especially since you have a fraction of the tests you need to verify your gross assumptions? Especially if the workers are not already classed as “essential,” such as medical staff? Is reopening McDonald’s that important? (Wouldn’t it be easier to hire a whole crew for the White House kitchen?)

    There are reasons why, say, South Korea has so few cases and deaths owing to Covid-19. You do not seem aware of them, or worse, you are disregarding them to please the vindictive ignoramus in the White House.

    • CCM says:

      It is really sad to see. The CDC at one time had amongst the best reasoned recommendations of any medical organization. Now the conclusions are suspect and the logic poor. It is possible to make well reasoned recommendations based on poor data sets; use transparent rationale, sound logic and indicate willingness to change the recs. In my practice group, mentioning CDC recs is met with eye rolls.

      • MB says:

        Unfortunately the CDC (under Trump especially) is becoming just another government agency headed by a politically-appointed shill. The FDA (yet another government agency) actually criticized the CDC for its poor initial response to covid-19 testing and because of that sanctioned private labs to develop their own tests. Junk science is making its inroads into previously-respectable realms within government, it seems.

        • RobertJ says:

          The fish rots from its head. When people learn that speaking truth to power is career limiting or worse, they shut up and the best ones leave.

        • Peterr says:

          I’d be careful about how much I’d put on the CDC here – this is part of a long-running battle for control between the FDA and CDC, going at least as far back as the battles in the Reagan era over AIDS. Today, the tests the private labs have come up with are seen by the CDC as medical analysis which come under their jurisdiction, while the FDA sees these tests as “medical devices” which come under their control. Thanks to Congress, the FDA won that battle.

          Sadly, this actually ended up slowing things down as the epidemic was ramping up:

          A federal directive that’s supposed to speed up the response to a pandemic is actually slowing down the government’s rollout of coronavirus tests.

          The directive, issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requires that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sister agency, retest every positive coronavirus test run by a public health lab to confirm its accuracy. The result, experts say, is wasting limited resources at a time when thousands of Americans are waiting in line to get tested for COVID-19.

          Until the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations, the CDC’s hands were tied and the private labs were hamstrung. Once the situation became publicly untenable, the FDA backed off, granted the EUAs, and said that the CDC merely had to validate the testing procedure, not each and every test (and even then, the private testing could begin immediately and the CDC validation could follow later).

          Yes, the CDC screwed up their initial test kit — but even if it worked as designed, there were never enough kits available because everyone seems to have been flatfooted about the speed with which the virus spread. The FDA was going to have to issue the EUAs regardless of how well the CDC test worked.

          When I think of junk science in this mess, I think of the daily Trump shows. What gets me is the framing they wave around regarding “The President’s Recommendations . . . ” I see plenty of folks around here who roll their eyes at this, saying that Trump is the LAST person they’d listen to for medical advice on this epidemic. They are a bit mollified when they see Fauci, Birx, and state/county health docs saying the same stuff.

          But Trump just has two operating modes: (a) shift the blame and (b) grab the credit. This framing is mode (b).

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah, Peter is right. There is not only a tug of war between administrative agencies, but a determined effort to cannibalize and screw them.

          • CCM says:

            For me it’s really personal. When hospital administrators quote CDC guidelines that defy common sense as a rationale for insufficient PPE, this puts my life at risk and my family. I signed up for this, I came of age during the HIV crisis. But my wife did not, she left the bedside years ago.

            • Peterr says:

              Not gonna argue with that one bit. I was reacting to the more blanket “shame on the CDC” when at least some of those complaints more properly should be aimed at the FDA and WH.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Dr. Robert Redfield was a controversial choice to head the CDC, and he’s showing why. Another Trumpy working hard to keep Donald happy, rather like the inmates running the asylum. Last I heard, Trump was still trying to cut CDC’s budget. If so, under these circumstances, a normally competent director would resign.

        • orionATL says:

          mb –

          if you believe that you are are simpleton and a sucker looking for a scapegoat.

          the fda’s interest in “private labs” originated before the covid-19 epidemic in the trump administration’s interest in promoting for-profit drug companies’ opportunities. i suspect hhs secretary alex azar, who was president of eli lilly from 2012-2017, had a big hand in that.

          i am confident cdc does not do junk science any more than does the the naval observatory, the various nih centers ( allergy and infectious diseases, human genome, etc), noaa, nasa goddard, etc.

          what does happen in government agencies is that research results get ignored or “reworded” under pressure from, can you guess? among others, agency political appointees, congresscritters supporting a particular corporate view, corporations themselves, and our charming collection of harmful ideologues.

          keep in mind that the quality of policy recommendations made is not the same as the quality of research undertaken.

          • MB says:

            If the FDA was already on the side of Alex Azar and private lab connections, why did they wait an entire month before giving them the green light to develop their own covid-19 tests? You’d think they’d be raring to go at the drop of a hat instead of needing the cover of CDC screwing up their initial batch of tests before doing so.

            • orionATL says:

              mb –

              “…if the FDA was already on the side of Alex Azar and private lab connections… ”

              alex azar is the secretary of hhs (the dept of health and human services). the fda is not on anyone’s side; it is a part of hhs, as is the cdc. secretary azar is their boss.

              as for “raring to go”, the trump administration had engaged in lengthy, massive denial of the seriousness of the cobid-19 problem. whatever green light the fda gave private labs and whenever, was due to serious public pressure on the trump administration regarding the extremely severe shortage of diagnostic tests and the resulting inability to predict what was happening and would happen in the nation.

              as i understand it, many of those “private labs,” were not corporate in the common sense but university hospitals.

      • PieIsDamnGood says:

        My wife is a medical provider and had covid symptoms. If no positive test, CDC guidance was to return to work 3 days after end of fever and at least 7 days after start of symptoms. If you test positive, you can return to work after 14 days and two negative tests. Seems pretty fucking inconsistent to me and a strong incentive to avoid testing providers.

        She’s recovered and fine now, but did go back to work for a couple days before she was able to get tested. Desperately hoping the PPE kept patients safe!

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The media is all atwitter about Donald Trump’s new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, a 31 year-old Faux Noise performance artist. No worries, if she gives as many press briefings as her predecessor – none.

    The buzz is that Barbie lookalike McEnany (a requirement at Faux Noise) is a hard right-wing Maga darling, who is a little to the right of Genghis Khan. The dailybeast notes her “long history of bullshit and lies,” her blow-ups, and the ease with which she can deliver Faux Noise talking points: Trump has “never lied to the American people,” and he has “categorically denounced racism.” Lifelong Catholic that she is, the Testament should fairly leap from her hand.

    McEnany might believe that shite. But she’s also a 2017 graduate of Harvard Law School, and before that, Georgetown. Which means she knows exactly WTF she’s doing, and that ruthless ambition is a more likely explanation.

    • MB says:

      She looks like a younger version of Kellyanne. Long blonde hair and the ability to let lies loosely fly forth with the greatest of ease. So…”ruthless ambition” manifests as blind loyalty.

      I’ve been reading historian Timothy Snyder’s perspective on Putin’s grand project, which requires the “great leader” to re-define what societal values should be, away from facts and truth-telling to spinning new national myths of which his primary role is to both generate and protect those myths. Snyder calls this the “politics of eternity”. It requires a broad propaganda effort and the ability to lie effectively enough (the lies don’t have to be believable, just effective). Looks like that’s the path Trump is on as well.

      The role of Press Secretary has become quite expendable, I wonder how long she’ll last.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        On the Trump-scale, McEnany seems closer to Ivanka than Conway. Regardless, looks and appearance are essential to Trump, because he needs to see his fantasy of himself reflected in those near him and who sell his “brand.” His apparent desire to bed his daughter seems closer to the expression Dick Cheney was known to use liberally in the Senate cloakroom.

    • Jenny says:

      Kayleigh McEnany quotes:

      “This President will always put America first, This President will always protect American citizens. We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here. And isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?” (CNN)

      “What is bad for America is good for Democrats. It’s incredible that they think this way. They root against the stock market. They root for this [coronavirus] to take hold. They have a demented dream of taking down President Trump. It doesn’t matter how many Americans they destroy in order to get there.” (Fox News)

    • Frank Probst says:

      The men of Fox tend to be a pretty dopey bunch. The women, on the other hand, are often much smarter and better educated than they let on. They’re amoral, not stupid.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Exactly. It’s a carefully crafted 1950s fantasy. The men are right wing Mr. Cleavers. The women are a cross between Mrs. Cleaver and playmate Barbie. They wear gold instead of pearls and stilettos instead of pumps. They are made to hide their Ivy League degrees, as they are made to sandwich themselves between less capable men. It is a fantasy so powerful and lucrative, right wing politicians fear their disfavor and crave their support.

        • errant aesthete says:

          “They are made to hide their Ivy League degrees, as they are made to sandwich themselves between less capable men.”

          You’ve got that “exactly” right. So effective was the fantasy that woman with an ounce of intelligence (whether school and/or street earned – i.e., Working Girl, circa 1980’s ) and a bottle of L’oreal have been replicating it repeatedly across the boardrooms of America for decades.

  7. vvv says:

    “If this stuff can’t be shared via proper channels we may see more of it in the press in the coming months.” Capt. Crozier was actually accused of doing this, and there’s also the various tell-all books, etc. – there are so many problems that appear to their sources (and most seem righteous!) to require *not* “proper channels” that I suggest consideration be given to opening an office for same. Perhaps Hope Hicks could head it and Spicey be brought back to not give press conferences. (Please note that I am not even day-drinking.)

      • Tom says:

        Is Bolton’s book still in security clearance limbo? In any case, he should have spoken up long ago when his revelations might have had more impact and made a significant difference, such as during the impeachment proceedings. I expect Bolton’s book will be upstaged by continuing news of Trump’s bungling of the COVID-19 crisis and that within six months of publication it will be available by the remaindered bin load at half price or less in book stores across the country, and six months after that will be on sale for 50 cents each or three for a dollar at your friendly neighbourhood thrift store. Pet stores and animal shelters will provide free copies to anyone who takes home a kitten or a puppy so the pages can be used to line litter boxes.

        • Frank Probst says:

          I don’t think it’s ever going to be released. The President will classify any and all conversations he had with Bolton, either alone or as part of a group. And even then, they’re going to keep it in “review hell” until Trump leaves office. I doubt the title of the book will even make it past review.

    • Chetnolian says:

      I bet when the proper investigation of Capt. Crozier is made, if it ever is, we will find he had already used the proper channels. You don’t get to command a CVN without really understanding the system. But in a good ship the Captain is as loyal to his crew as the crew is to him.Downwards loyalty is a concept foreign to the current US administration, to the lasting shame of the USA. The only possible reason for bypassing the proper channels is that he had already used them and nothing was happening.

      • bmaz says:

        That is almost certain. Which is why there will never be such an “investigation” by the DOD.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yea, Crozier punched all the right tickets or he would not have commanded a CVN. He was also so clued in, he worked in the scullery so that his crew could spend a few more minutes enjoying a holiday meal. That’s a guy who demanded as much from himself as he did from his crew. Sailors would know not every commanding officer does that.

        This guy would have communicated fully up the chain of command. He would have written that e-m out of intense frustration. Presumably, because he saw his crew being put in mortal danger out of complacence or to help keep some politician in his denial bubble. He wouldn’t accept that without a fight.

        • bmaz says:

          If you are the Captain of one of the ten or so US Nuclear carriers, of which the TR is among the top 2 or 3, you are on your way to fast be an admiral. When Earl sas Crozier had punched his tickets, that may even have been an understatement.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            You’ve heard of English understatement….

            But ECOMCON? I thought that was West Texas, not AZ. If you are positing Trump as James Mattoon Scott (he has the ego and craziness), who is Jiggs?

          • Peterr says:

            Based on the public statements they’ve made, a fair number of retired admirals, generals, and DOD civilian leaders agree with you. For instance, here’s Lawrence Korb, Asst Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan:

            Last week, a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle called and asked me about an urgent four-page letter that Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, a decorated naval aviator and the commanding officer of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, had written to about 30 civilian and military Navy officials, inside and outside his chain of command, asking them to quarantine 90 percent of his ship’s entire crew to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus on his ship.

            I responded that I admired Capt. Crozier for putting the welfare of his sailors above his career. . . .

            I knew that by selecting Capt. Crozier to command a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Navy was essentially saying that, unless something went terribly wrong during his command of the ship like colliding with another ship, he would be selected for or promoted to Rear Admiral soon after his tour of duty on the ship was over. However, because his letter was sent not only to officials in and out of his direct chain of command to reveal a problem that his superiors were essentially ignoring, he was calling on the people who would decide his fate to account for their reprehensible behavior. . . .

            Capt. Crozier will probably not be promoted to admiral, but when he left the carrier, he received a standing ovation from the sailors on the ship, something I have never seen before. . . .

            Along with several other retired officers and many families of the sailors on the Roosevelt, I want to thank Captain Crozier. You made us proud and we hope that your firing will not prevent your peers from speaking truth to power. And we are saddened that you, too have tested positive for the virus.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    Pestilence Trump

    Does pestilence trump
    quid pro quo?
    I don’t know.
    But it sure leaves a lump
    that sticks in the craw
    of how we read the rule of law.

    The Hippocratic Oath
    is subject to both
    sides now, Holy Cow,
    will Nunes jump over the moon?
    Do they live to dish and love to spoon
    medicine straight from Oz?

    Because,because, because,because,
    becuz of the lucrative things
    it does?
    They’re off to see the wizz herd,
    The lucrative wizz herd of Oz.

    With a rude toot Puti
    and a flying monkey Rudy
    doctoring up the odds,
    Gathering all the loot then
    is it snorted out the snoot when
    it comes time to count their wads?

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    At his latest Covid-19 pep rally, Donald Trump trotted out his new wonder drug: Zinc! What can you lose…but get it from your doctor. Except that ordinarily, and like a bunch of other vitamins and minerals, zinc is available over-the-counter as a food supplement. Apart from owning the Libs and distracting as fast as he can, it’s as if the only things this guy can remember are quack remedies for hair loss. Being nuts is not a substitute for being president; it’s usually a disqualification.

  10. Tom says:

    Today, Trump the Terracotta President was still professing ignorance of the memos warning of the impending pandemic that were circulating among the upper levels of his administration in recent months, yet when a reporter asked him to comment on “breaking news” that Jared Kushner is reportedly working on compiling a database of coronavirus victims, the President denied the story and said something to the effect of, “Oh no, I would have heard about it. They would have told me.” Sounds like he expects to be informed about some topics but not others.

    • greengiant says:

      Jared probably thinks he is getting in the plasma therapy business with recovered Covid-19 victims and/or working on that comorbidity story that people with preexisting conditions don’t count and should be thrown under the bus/virus and subtracted from the death toll so the meister’s vision of a booming American economy can be unleashed. Even the governors can not push on a string. They can retract their shelter in place orders but the people at risk or in contact with people at risk are not going to be socializing or staying at the Trump Hotels.
      Remember every life especially employees’ lost to this epidemic due to corrupt management and corrupt government.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As EW notes on twtr, at a time when Americans have a crying need for more and more frequent testing – and for centralized recording and examination of results – both of which we owe ourselves and the rest of the world, “the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday.”

    It’s up the states, you see. The USG is just a back-up, and it’s not supposed to be doing tests on street corners or in big box store parking lots just for the helluva it. No matter how many promises Jared made that it would do just that.

    If Donald Trump were intentionally trying to cause chaos and destruction of both American society and government, it would be hard for him to do a better job than he’s already doing. His Russian handlers will give him a biscuit and rub behind the ears for it.

  12. Spencer Dawkins says:

    This is complete speculation, but I wonder how visible the rumored(?) cover-up in Wuhan by local officials was to the intelligence community. If you can notice it by satellite, that’s not a small thing, and it’s at least possible that we knew where this was headed before Beijing did, or at least when they were still arresting journalists.

    Yet another reason I’m not happy about IC leaking in order to get CoViD-45’s attention via Fox and OAN.

  13. Jim_RefusedToDifferentiateName says:

    As long as Mr Trump is surrounded by *Yes men* he doesn`t give a dump .
    (Being polite) .

    Hi there. I am not going to be polite anymore with you. You have repeatedly been asked, by both Rayne and me, to differentiate your name from “Jim”. Because it is too common and because one of our key principals here has that name. You clearly have refused all such request and guidance. This will be the last comment ever approved for you until you do so.

  14. Rayne says:

    Theory: We saw reporting December 31 in a Hong Kong news outlet about the “mysterious pneumonia” because PRC was worried nobody here had responded appropriately before they went to WHO a few days later.

    Couldn’t use an overt channel during a trade war … or they’d been rebuffed.

    May have tried a backchannel … but they’d been rebuffed or nothing happened.

    So a news drop in an arm’s length Hong Kong media outlet instead, before the formal acknowledgment to WHO.

    Makes me wonder if the reason Team Trump suddenly dropped their anti-China/anti-Asian racist bullshit was a threat from PRC to release what they know about Trump’s failures/refusals to respond appropriately.

  15. Willis J Warren says:

    I’m skeptical of this timeline, to be honest. The ABC story saying we intercepted transmissions in November seems a bit early. Wuhan officials backdated the virus to November, but if there were actual discussions of it that we intercepted at that time, it would be convenient for the Trump administration’s claims that China didn’t do enough

    • P J Evans says:

      ISTR that some fairly well-known people in China died suddenly of an atypical pneumonia. The authorities there may have started talking before that – they’d have all the numbers, and if some well-known people got it, that implies a lot of others did too.

      • Willis J Warren says:

        Well, yeah, I just think ABC may have the timeline wrong and the intercepts may come from mid december. I’m not doubting that the virus probably emerged in November, though. There’s a lot of noise about it all. Now, if the intelligence community is trying to hurt Trump, that’s a good sign. I’m ok with that.

    • MB says:

      This photo requires a full-on altered nursery rhyme:

      3 men with a snub
      And who do you think they be?
      The Prez, the Veep, the head of the OTMP
      And all of them out to sea

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Now that Bernie is out of the running, Barack and Michelle have decided they can “come off the sidelines.” I’m waiting for Joe to name Michelle as his running mate.

  17. harpie says:

    Warren, Pressley renew call for trove of national data on race and coronavirus, this time aimed at Medicare
    Calls for national data about COVID-19 and race increased this week.
    April 10, 2020, 6:00 AM

    Former 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushed yet again Friday morning for the federal government to shed a light on racial disparities rearing in the battle against coronavirus, this time calling on the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, whose agency collects data from millions of Americans enrolled in the government-run health care programs.

    Verma told reporters at a White House coronavirus task force briefing earlier this week that her agency had data on coronavirus patients, including race, and planned to release that information. Verma didn’t provide a timeline and the data has not yet been released.

    Warren paired up with Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Ed Markey, both Democrats from Warren’s state of Massachusetts, and called on Verma directly to release the data on Friday. […]

  18. Honeybee says:

    Critics of the FDA and particularly its CDRH wing would do well to revisit GAO reports on limitations in the oversight system – particularly in overseas manufacturing – going back to the second term of the G W Bush years. It’s eye-opening. That is, if they’re still available. Some stuff in adverse events, meeting minutes, etc., seems to have gone into open source web archives, which are spotty. There used to be a print archive in government repositories, but isn’t that all gone now?

Comments are closed.