Never mind that, of course, he's also said that he knew it was a pandemic before people knew it was a pandemic. And never mind that we know he was briefed in early January about the coranivrus. Never mind all that. Because a report yesterday from ABC News makes it even worse.
The story is just gut-wrenchingly sickening.
According to the report, the military knew all this from intercepted computer exchanges and satellite images. There were multiple briefings to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.
While the Pentagon issued a statement denying that the "product/assessment" existed, the sources added that other divisions of the federal government were warned as well as the National Security Council at the White House. And that all "culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January."
It's not clear if Trump personally knew back in November, though -- despite Pentagon denials -- it appears pretty certain that he absolutely did know in early January. And it seems likely that, despite Trump's insistence that "Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened," his administration not only thought it, they knew it. And knew it was so horrific that it could be a "cataclysmic event."
And over three months later, at the end of February, Trump was saying the 15 cases would be down to two or three in a few days, and that, like a "miracle" it would be gone soon. Trump knew of this potentially cataclysmic event and did virtually nothing for 70 days, as the Washington Post reported. And as recently as three weeks ago was insisting no one could ever have known.
And this doesn't even take into consideration that the Obama Transition Team specifically briefed the Trump transition about the possibility of a pandemic and what to do.
And it ignores all the other actions that Trump took up to that report in November.
That Trump closed the Pandemic Response Unit in 2018.
That Trump didn't renew $8.5 BILLION from CDC budget for infectious diseases.
That Trump fired the CDC expert in infectious diseases literally stationed in China, Dr. Linda Quick, in July, 2019. Only four months before the U.S. military learned about the COVID-19 outbreak.
No, just knowing that the Trump administration knew about the crisis in November and then add in all of his inaction and lies that we know since that. Still no national testing. Still no federal coordination of mask, gowns and ventilators. Still no enabling the Defense Production Act. And insisting he's just a "back up." And slamming governors for not doing enough. And slamming reporters for asking "nasty" questions.
Hey, who knows, maybe Putin told him not to believe the intelligence. What reason would he have to lie? That sounds idiotic, I know, but then pretty much every action and utterance by Trump for the past five months about this pandemic crisis is idiotic.
Is it possible that the ABC News report isn't true? Lots of things in life are possible, so sure. The larger question is probable or likely. Given the explicit detail, given the levels of the government that report says are involved, and given what we know...and given the amount of vetting that ABC News most certainly had to go through to feel comfortable reporting this -- the level of probability and likelihood is sky high.
And Trump is the entity who said, "I take no responsibility at all."
"All responsibility" is getting closer to reality.
You can read the report here.
I'm not even going to drop in that whole part about the elected members of the Republican Party and enabling complicity. While that's all true, I think Trump deserves center stage on this one.