Trump attacks Washington Post after report of early intel warnings over coronavirus
President Trump on Saturday insisted that his administration didn’t act late in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic following a report from The Washington Post that said the White House ignored early warnings from the intelligence community.
The Post reported that the intelligence community warned of the danger posed by the novel coronavirus throughout January and February as the White House downplayed the threat and was slow to roll out nationwide measures.
“I think the Washington Post covers us very inaccurately,” Trump said when asked about the report. “I saw the story. I think it’s a disgrace, but it’s the Washington Post, and I guess we have to live with it. It’s a very inaccurate story.”
Trump takes a loaded question from far-right OANN goading him into bashing the Washington Post and does so while also praising OANN pic.twitter.com/iTVQbCLrOL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 21, 2020
Trump noted that his move to restrict travel to China may have stopped the spread of the disease drastically. He went on to claim that China did not inform the U.S. about the virus. However, the first news reports about the virus popped up in late January, and the administration did not create a task force until late February.
“From many people, I get a lot of credit for closing our country very early to a very heavily infected country — China, unfortunately,” he said. “I wish China would have told us more about what was going on [in] China long prior to us reading about it, even though the news isn’t exactly disseminated.”
“As you know, China kicked The Washington Post out, and they kicked The New York Times out,” he added.
Reports have shown that China, where the virus originated, has attempted to censor critics of the government response to the disease and manipulated statics to appear as though there are fewer people infected.
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