Just yesterday, I wrote that the Trump administration is using the “nobody knew” excuse to explain away their incompetence, claiming that nobody could have predicted the scale of the pandemic. That was false but today comes news that really undercuts it. Newly revealed memos from way back on January 29 and on February 23 reveal that people in the Trump administration were warned by chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow that the pandemic could have devastating consequences. This blows up the “nobody could have predicted” excuse of the Trump administration for their lack of prompt action.
Donald Trump was warned at the end of January by one of his top White House advisers that coronavirus had the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans and derail the US economy, unless tough action were taken immediately, new memos have revealed.
The memos were written by Trump’s economic adviser, Peter Navarro, and circulated via the National Security Council widely around the White House and federal agencies.
They show that even within the Trump administration alarm bells were ringing by late January, at a time when the president was consistently downplaying the threat of Covid-19.
This was not the first time Trump and his White House team were warned that the virus had the potential to devastate the US and needed to be dealt with quickly and firmly.
Senior scientists, epidemiologists and health emergency experts in the US and around the world delivered that clear message early on in the crisis, only for Trump to continue belittling the scale of the threat which he compared falsely to the dangers of seasonal flu.
But the emergence of the memos from such a senior aide within the White House will make it much more difficult for Trump to claim – as he has done on multiple occasions – that nobody was able to predict the severity of the disease.
As the pandemic has swept across the country, the president has come under mounting criticism for having done too little, too late in response, leading to mass shortages of diagnostic testing, protective gear for frontline health workers and ventilators for the very sick.
With any normal administration, they would try to find excuses as to why these memos were ignored and explain away their “nobody cold have predicted” claim. But that is not how Trump and the people around him operate. They will either deny that the memos exist or deny that they say what they clearly say, or say that they never said that nobody could have predicted the effects. They have replaced tortured explanations with flat out lies and it does not seem to bother Trump fans because they are clearly a cult.