ABC Resurrects Fake News Trump Warned of Virus in November

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After getting rebuked by the National Center for Medical Intelligence on Wednesday for pumping out fake news that President Trump knew about the Wuhan Virus back in November, ABC was desperate to find a way to suggest Trump had blood on his hands. Over the weekend, a dubious New York Times report gave ABC the cover they needed to resurrect their bogus story.

Leading into the report on Easter Sunday’s Good Morning America, co-anchor and actress Eva Pilgrim boasted of “the scathing new report on Trump administration’s failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.” “The New York Times finding that the White House wasted vital time in the early days of the crisis that may have cost American lives,” she declared.

Correspondent Rachel Scott began her report by repeatedly chiding the President’s comments about how the virus exploded unexpectedly (click “expand”):

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RACHEL SCOTT: Eva, good morning. President Trump has said no one saw pandemic like this coming. But The New York Times reports his top advisers and health officials did and that they tried to warn him.

[Cuts to video]

Overnight, President Trump touted his administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, calling his response “Swift.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We did it the right way. We took care of social distancing and all of the things, words that no one heard before.

But a new report from The New York Times claims the president repeatedly brushed off early warning signs from the intelligence community, top advisers, and health officials,” Scott touted. But as we’ll see, the accusations made by the liberal rag made no scene when faced with the facts.

The first piece of evidence of the President’s alleged inaction was a conversation he supposedly had with a top health official. “According to The Times, Health and Human Secretary Alex Azar sounded the alarm about the possibility of a pandemic on January 30th call with the President, but his concerns were dismissed,” she said.

 

 

The claim Azar was “dismissed” was ridiculous because January 30 was the same day the Coronavirus Task Force was created and travel from China was banned on January 31. It seemed Scott was trying to obfuscate the timeline of events.

She added: “February 21st, disaster response official Dr. Robert Kadlec held a meeting with the Coronavirus Task Force. The Times reports group ‘concluded they would soon need to move aggressive social distancing.’ But the President didn’t go forward with those measures for more than three weeks.”

For context, which Scott refused to give, it’s worth noting that early projections from the Center for Disease Control suggested the U.S. was not going to be hit too hard by the outbreak.

To scold Trump for saying the virus hit “unexpectedly,” Scott rehashed ABC’s debunked fake news that the President was hearing warning of the virus back in November. “But ABC News has learned intelligence agencies were warning of a contagion sweeping through China back in November. And by early January, sources tell ABC, that information was included in the President’s daily intelligence brief.

Of course, there was no description of how detailed or how serious the virus threat was treated in the daily briefing. It could have possibly been a footnote, but ABC didn’t know that. At the same time, the World Health Organization was helping to protect China by lying to the world about community spread of the virus.

While ABC was pouncing on this Times article, an earlier article from The Washington Post tried to do the same thing back in March. But the paper admitted: “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.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
April 12, 2020
8:12:58 A.m. Eastern

EVA PILGRIM: Now to the scathing new report on Trump administration’s failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times finding that the White House wasted vital time in the early days of the crisis that may have cost American lives. ABC’s Rachel Scott is in D.C. with more. Good morning to you, Rachel.

RACHEL SCOTT: Eva, good morning. President Trump has said no one saw pandemic like this coming. But The New York Times reports his top advisers and health officials did and that they tried to warn him.

[Cuts to video]

Overnight, President Trump touted his administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, calling his response “Swift.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We did it the right way. We took care of social distancing and all of the things, words that no one heard before.

SCOTT: But a new report from The New York Times claims the president repeatedly brushed off early warning signs from the intelligence community, top advisers, and health officials.

According to The Times, Health and Human Secretary Alex Azar sounded the alarm about the possibility of a pandemic on January 30th call with the President, but his concerns were dismissed. Weeks later on February 21st, disaster response official Dr. Robert Kadlec held a meeting with the Coronavirus Task Force. The Times reports group “concluded they would soon need to move aggressive social distancing.” But the President didn’t go forward with those measures for more than three weeks.

Just last Monday, he insisted the virus hit the U.S. unexpectedly.

TRUMP: This came out of nowhere.

SCOTT: But ABC News has learned intelligence agencies were warning of a contagion sweeping through China back in November. And by early January, sources tell ABC, that information was included in the President’s daily intelligence brief.

When did you first learn about the intelligence and could you have acted on it then?

TRUMP: Well, I learned when I started — when I learned about the gravity was sometime just prior to closing the country to China.

[Cuts back to live]

SCOTT: And the White House has responded to that The New York Times, the deputy press secretary said President Trump took bold action to protect Americans and unleashed the full power of the federal government to curve the spread of the virus. The President is now weighing whether to reopen the country next month, calling it the biggest decision he has ever had to make. Dan.

DAN HARRIS: Hugely consequential decision. Rachel, thank you very much.



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