Coronavirus: the White House had been warned of the danger at the end of January

Donald Trump has been warned twice of the magnitude of the danger from the coronavirus. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

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A memo published this Tuesday April 7 in the American press reveals that the Trump administration had been informed at the end of January of a risk of a serious pandemic.


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The first warning dates back to January 29. As cases of coronaviruses begin to be identified around the world, trade counselor Peter Navarro warns the White House: " The absence of protection or of vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the event of an epidemic of coronavirus. "

In this first memo, the Trade Advisor talks about putting the lives of half a million Americans at risk. Two days later, Donald Trump orders the closure of the borders with China, but he continues to minimize the risks. The president even ensures that the virus will disappear by itself, recalls our correspondent in Washington, Anne Corpet .

Alarmed, Peter Navarro wrote a second internal note on February 23. This time he spoke of the increased likelihood of a pandemic and observed: " Hundreds of millions of Americans could be infected, which could lead to the death of 1.2 million people ". The Commerce Advisor requests that $ 3 billion be immediately released to organize prevention and diagnostics, in other words, to produce screening tests. No action is taken in this direction.

On March 21, a month later, the milestone of 300 died in the United States. Donald Trump then declared: " I would have liked to have been warned earlier. We didn't know what was going to happen . ” The country has registered a total of more than 12,000 deaths.

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  • Coronavirus
  • United States
  • Donald trump