WH Trade Adviser Raised Alarm To Trump Admin. About Danger Of Coronavirus In January

White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro speaks during the daily briefing on COVID-19 at the White House on March 22, 2020. (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
April 7, 2020 8:31 a.m.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wrote a memo all the way back in January warning the Trump administration of the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic would wreak in the United States.

“The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil,” Navarro wrote on January 29, per the memo obtained by the New York Times. “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

The adviser sent another memo on February 23 urging the White House anti-coronavirus task force to secure the necessary funds in its effort to combat the outbreak.

Any task force member who “wants to be cautious” about obtaining the funds “has come to the wrong administration,” Navarro wrote.

The adviser’s memos were sent at the same time President Donald Trump tried to downplay the virus and then insist that “nobody ever thought” the U.S. would have to deal with a pandemic.

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