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Home / World News / Trump defends Covid-19 predictions after report surfaces that US ignored warnings

Trump defends Covid-19 predictions after report surfaces that US ignored warnings

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump was repeatedly warned in his daily intelligence briefing in January and February -- a document the paper said he seldom reads -- that the virus posed a threat to the US.

world Updated: Apr 28, 2020 23:16 IST
Bloomberg
Bloomberg
Washington DC
US President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US.
US President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US. (Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump defended his early, dismissive response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying Tuesday that he was told late in February that it wouldn’t be a problem.

“Even professionals like Anthony were saying this is no problem,” Trump told reporters in a White House meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, referring to the government’s top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci.

“This is late in February. This is no problem,” he said. “This is going to blow over.”

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump was repeatedly warned in his daily intelligence briefing in January and February -- a document the paper said he seldom reads -- that the virus posed a threat to the US

“I would have to check,” Trump said of the report. “I want to look as to the exact dates of warnings.”

Fauci said on NBC’s Today show on Feb. 29 that Americans didn’t need to change to change their daily routines yet to avoid infection, but warned that could change. The Trump administration endorsed social-distancing practices that have crippled the economy on March 16, after they had already been adopted by many businesses, state governments and ordinary Americans.

A top CDC official, Nancy Messonnier, warned Feb. 25 that the agency expected “community spread” of the virus and that “disruption to everyday life might be severe.”

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