2019 “Worldwide Threat Assessment” warned Trump of the possibility of overwhelming pandemic crisis

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Donald Trump can’t pretend that he wasn’t warned about the possibility of a massive pandemic that the United States would be unprepared to deal with.

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According to NBC Foreign Affairs Analyst Brett McGurk — a former State Department official who served in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations and is now a lecturer at Stanford University — one of the president’s now-fired intelligence chiefs, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, included just such a scenario in the 2019 “Worldwide Threat Assessment” that he complied for the administration.

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Coats specifically warned the administration that “the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.” 

Trump fired America’s pandemic response team. Demand he reassemble it to confront the coronavirus pandemic immediately!

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Whether Trump actually read Coats’ “Worldwide Threat Assessment” is unknown, but the president is well known for his aversion to any written documents that aren’t distilled down to a few bullet points or transmitted via coverage in a segment on Fox News.

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If the president and his staff had been actually doing their jobs properly and preparing contingency plans for the threats that the combined wisdom of our nation’s intelligence community had agreed were the biggest issues facing the country, then perhaps the acute shortage of face masks and other protective gear — not to mention the nightmare projections of massive shortages of hospital beds if the cases of infection with the COVID-19 virus expand logarithmically as they are expected to do in the next 2-3 months — would not be a panic-inducing prospect that is only now coming to the public’s attention.
Anyone who has yet to grasp the seriousness of America’s unpreparedness for the expanding pandemic — enabled by the Trump administration’s dismantling of the measures instituted by his predecessor, Barack Obama, to help prepare for such a public medical emergency situation — is urged to read the detailed Twitter thread by Liz Specht, an Associate Director of Science and Technology at the Good Food Institute, that runs the numbers on both the projected coronavirus infections expected and the availability of health care personnel, facilities, and materials in the United States.
Here are a few choice excerpts from her thread. Trigger warning — you may need a sedative at the ready after reading this:

Specht goes on to detail how both facemasks and health care workers will be in short supply much sooner than anyone currently imagines.

Still, the damage that Donald Trump has done by failing to heed Coat’s warning and by spreading a culture of conspiracy theories and outright lies about the coronavirus and America’s vulnerability to it is exemplified by this response to her well-researched and intelligent analysis.

This is exactly the sort of ignorant, uninformed science and media denial that people who foolishly place their trust in the president subscribe to and almost makes one wish there was a direct correlation between susceptibility to catching the virus and IQ levels.

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Unfortunately, viruses like COVID-19 only discriminate based on age and overall health level, so make sure that you follow CDC guidelines and wash your hands with soap and water for long enough to sing happy birthday twice, or if you’re now sick of that cloying tune running through your brain, you can try these welcome alternatives.

As for Donald Trump and anyone else sharing his mendacious misinformation designed to help prevent the damage that his incompetence in dealing with the national health crisis is causing to his reelection prospects, once you’re finished washing your hands, use that soap to wash out your mouths as well.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.

Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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