Trump Dragoons Intel Community Into Probing Pet Coronavirus Theory

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 10, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

In an effort to deflect blame for his response to COVID-19, President Donald Trump has roped in the intelligence community to investigate his theory that the World Health Organization (WHO) covered up COVID-19 when the virus first broke out in China.

Several unnamed current and former officials told NBC News on Tuesday that the CIA, National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency have all been told to look into the matter.

“As the President has said, the United States is thoroughly investigating this matter,” Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesperson, said in a statement. “Understanding the origins of the virus is important to help the world respond to this pandemic but also to inform rapid-response efforts to future infectious disease outbreaks.”

At the outset of the outbreak, Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus, promising Americans that the number of cases would miraculously drop to zero. As of Wednesday morning, however, the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has officially surpassed the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War.

Trump has been accusing the WHO of “covering up” COVID-19 while praising himself for his response to the pandemic.

However, there is no evidence that the organization did so.

“Looking back, I think we declared (an) emergency at the right time,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, said last week of the agency’s decision to describe the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11.

Trump is ramping up his attacks on the WHO as he attempts to shake off criticism that he didn’t act on COVID-19 quickly enough.

However, that criticism was further boosted this week by a Washington Post report that revealed that the intelligence community had repeatedly warned the President about COVID-19 in their daily briefings going as far back as January.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. And so of course they’ll do it, because Der Vewy Stable Genius can never be mistaken or delusional.

  2. And when they find nothing we’ll never hear of it.

  3. Does this mean the intel community will have to pull resources off the investigation into how Hunter Biden sought to use Ukrainian resources to throw the election?

  4. Avatar for jw1 jw1 says:

    Well, we’re pretty damn clear on ‘who’ ignored it-- after the evidence was clear to the rest of the world

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

178 more replies

Participants

Avatar for playitagainrowlf Avatar for jw1 Avatar for clemmers Avatar for becca656 Avatar for sandyh Avatar for lastroth Avatar for leftcoaster Avatar for topchap Avatar for ronbyers Avatar for darrtown Avatar for thunderclapnewman Avatar for ljb860 Avatar for lizzymom Avatar for castor_troy Avatar for coimmigrant Avatar for enn Avatar for the_loan_arranger Avatar for bcgister Avatar for occamscoin Avatar for redpill Avatar for rucleare Avatar for kadymud Avatar for kovie Avatar for mnnmnnm

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: