US Knew of a Novel Coronavirus Threat, Failed to Prepare
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to a Nation magazine report, Trump deceived the public by falsely claiming the emergence and spread of COVID-19 was "unforeseen," that it "came out of nowhere."
The Nation obtained a 2017 Pentagon draft report that refutes his Big Lie.
Saying "(t)he most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease" should have alerted Trump regime policymakers to prepare for outbreaks to be ready to respond as needed when they occurred.
They slept instead, leaving the nation and its people unprepared to deal with what's happening and worsening daily. More on this below.
There are six known coronavirus strains that can infect humans. Most people contract one or more strains in their lifetimes.
They cause mild to moderate to more serious upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a novel/highly contagious strain.
According to the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s.
They're "closely monitored by public health officials" because strains can exist anywhere.
Novel COVID-19 isn't new. It infected animals for some time. The virus is able to spread to humans or the other way around.
Viruses can mutate into new forms. According to Science Magazine, the US leads in COVID-19 cases but trails many other nations in its response.
"America is first, and not in a good way," it reported, adding:
The Trump regime's response is "fragmented, chaotic, and plagued by contradictory messaging from political leaders."
Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm lamented that "(w)e don't have a national plan. We are going from press conference to press conference and crisis to crisis…trying to understand our response."
Citing 12 mathematical models produced by infectious diseases scientists, Science Magazine said they concluded that the US could have "millions of (COVID-19) infected people" without a large-scale national program to contain outbreaks.
Instead of conflicting messages from Trump and others around him, political scientist Scott Greer stressed that "(r)ule one of communication (at a time like now is to) have a message and stick to it."
Instead Trump, state, and local officials are sending mixed messages, ranging from "indifference to alarm."
Biologist Carl Bergstrom gave an example, saying: "Yesterday, I was supposed to be in church on Easter, and now all of a sudden New York's under quarantine."
Lack of clarity, focus, and maximum effort on the problem is "hemorrhaging" public trust.
Lack of national leadership and coordination has states and communities going their own way.
The Trump regime "signaled it will let governors make their own decisions" instead of directing a national effort to combat the virus, said Science Magazine.
According to epidemiologist William Hanage, "(t)he closest comparison here, in terms of national mobilization, is a war. And there is no way the United States would fight a war as 50 separate states."
Nation magazine explained that the Pentagon plan about foreknowledge of a serious coronavirus outbreak was dated January 6, 2017, days before Trump took office. It's titled:
"USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response"
The Nation got the plan from a Pentagon official who remains anonymous to avoid possible punitive action for releasing it.
Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Infectious Diseases and Countermeasures Division Denis Kaufman said the following:
"The Intelligence Community has warned about the threat from highly pathogenic influenza viruses for two decades at least. They have warned about coronaviruses for at least five years," adding:
"There have been recent pronouncements that the coronavirus pandemic represents an intelligence failure…It's letting people who ignored intelligence warnings off the hook."
The Pentagon predicted large-scale outbreaks and shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff and the public.
The Pentagon report states the following:
"Competition for, and scarcity of resources will include…non-pharmaceutical MCM (Medical Countermeasures) (e.g., ventilators, devices, personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves), medical equipment, and logistical support. This will have a significant impact on the availability of the global workforce."
It explains how outbreaks of infectious disease can rapidly spread.
It warned that supplies of ventilators, face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment are nearly depleted.
It explained that US medical facilities will be unable to handle the volume of coronavirus patients needing treatment.
They lack enough hospital beds, equipment, drugs, and related supplies if outbreaks reach epidemic levels.
Scarcity worldwide will cause competition among nations to get as much of what they need as possible.
The Nation said the "Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment."
Its report includes the full draft Pentagon report, labelled "Unclassified/For Official Use Only."
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