Trump gloats over ABC ‘fake news’ as medical intelligence refutes shock report, denies warning Washington of Covid-19 in November

10 Apr, 2020 08:29 / Updated 4 years ago

A bombshell ABC News report that claimed US military intelligence warned the White House about a looming coronavirus outbreak was denied by the service itself, giving President Trump an opportunity to gloat at his accusers.

The story, released on Wednesday, claimed the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) reported in November that a possible “cataclysmic event” was in the making in China's Wuhan city. The NCMI – part of the Pentagon's intelligence apparatus – gave a warning to the US government, but it failed to act early to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country or to prepare for mitigating the damage, the narrative went.

Also on What did they know, exactly? US intel warned of ‘cataclysmic’ coronavirus pandemic in NOVEMBER 2019, report claims

After initial confusion, the agency, which is part of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), responded to the report by issuing a statement casting doubt on the very existence of the document described by ABC sources. The story about a "coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists," said its director, Col. R. Shane Day.

President Donald Trump, whose response to the epidemic has been relentlessly criticized by his political opponents, shot some verbal barbs at the news channel. “They knew they were wrong when they went with this Hoax of a story!” he tweeted.

The disproved ABC story not only cast the Trump administration in a bad light, but also raised questions about the timeline of what appears to be the worst health crisis in a generation. Given the time needed to collect and vet intelligence, it implied that the US military saw the disaster coming weeks before the virus causing Covid-19 was even identified by China as a new pathogen, giving fodder to those who believe the virus is man-made.

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