The coronavirus crisis with a death toll now topping 1,000 in the United States was the result of an intelligence failure worse than the failures that led up the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, according to a report by a leading foreign policy expert. That failure, however, is not the fault of the intelligence community but instead is “all the fault of Donald Trump’s leadership,” wrote author Micah Zenko in an analysis published Wednesday by the prestigious journal Foreign Policy.
As The Washington Post reported last week, the Trump administration simply ignored repeated, “ominous” intelligence assessments of the coming pandemic, presented in January and February. The paper also reported that though Trump’s advisers attempted to alert Trump to the coronavirus threat revealed by the intelligence reports, “they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”
Instead, as Zenko noted, Trump first mentioned the coronavirus outbreak on January 22, only to dismiss the threat as “totally under control.”