Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar’s January coronavirus warning as ‘alarmist’

President Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar’s initial warnings about the deadly coronavirus as ‘alarmist’ back in January, a new report says.

Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its delayed reaction to COVID-19 by failing to mobilize upon early warnings, form a chain of command, and organize efficient nation-wide testing – as the US suffers heavy casualties from the virus with over 9,000 deaths. 

But the president had time to respond as he was first notified about the coronavirus outbreak in China on January 3. 

Then, Azar called Trump on January 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to brief him about the severity of the novel coronavirus.

During that call the president reportedly cut him off before Azar could explain and instead criticized the health secretary over his handling of the axed federal vaping ban.  

At that time the president was reportedly more concerned about his then-ongoing impeachment trial.

President Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar's initial warnings about the deadly coronavirus back in January as 'alarmist'

President Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar's initial warnings about the deadly coronavirus back in January as 'alarmist'

President Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar’s initial warnings about the deadly coronavirus back in January as ‘alarmist’

Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were 'alarmist'. Azar, who was involved in the federal government’s response to 9/11 and the 2002 SARS outbreak, even asked a colleague for advice on getting through to the president

Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were 'alarmist'. Azar, who was involved in the federal government’s response to 9/11 and the 2002 SARS outbreak, even asked a colleague for advice on getting through to the president

Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were ‘alarmist’. Azar, who was involved in the federal government’s response to 9/11 and the 2002 SARS outbreak, even asked a colleague for advice on getting through to the president

That same day the US introduced screening procedures for travelers returning to the US from China who showed symptoms.

Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were ‘alarmist’, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Azar, who was involved in the federal government’s response to 9/11 and the 2002 SARS outbreak, even asked a colleague for advice on getting through to the president. 

Despite his efforts, Azar has also been criticized for failing to stress to the president the urgency of the pandemic. 

Days later on January 21 the virus became a real problem for the US when a Seattle man who had recently traveled to Wuhan tested positive for the coronavirus and became the first known infection on American soil. 

Around the same time, US spy agencies signaled to Trump the seriousness of the outbreak and how it could spread. 

Trump's administration has been heavily criticized for its delayed reaction to COVID-19 by failing to mobilize upon early warnings, form a chain of command, and organize efficient nation-wide testing - as the US suffers over 9,000 deaths from the virus. A patient being transported to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak on April 2 in New York City

Trump's administration has been heavily criticized for its delayed reaction to COVID-19 by failing to mobilize upon early warnings, form a chain of command, and organize efficient nation-wide testing - as the US suffers over 9,000 deaths from the virus. A patient being transported to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak on April 2 in New York City

Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its delayed reaction to COVID-19 by failing to mobilize upon early warnings, form a chain of command, and organize efficient nation-wide testing – as the US suffers over 9,000 deaths from the virus. A patient being transported to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak on April 2 in New York City

This photo taken on March 5, 2020 shows patients resting at a temporary hospital set up for COVID-19 coronavirus patients in a sports stadium in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province

This photo taken on March 5, 2020 shows patients resting at a temporary hospital set up for COVID-19 coronavirus patients in a sports stadium in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province

This photo taken on March 5, 2020 shows patients resting at a temporary hospital set up for COVID-19 coronavirus patients in a sports stadium in Wuhan, in China’s central Hubei province

In late January into early February leaders at the Health and Human Services department sent two letters to the White House Office of Management and Budget seeking to transfer $136million in department funds to combat the virus. 

White House budget officials said that was too much money to allocate when there were only a few cases in the US and it would be viewed as alarmist. 

Overall it took 70 days for Trump to finally seriously act on the virus and initiate lockdown measures and stay at home orders.  

Still, the White House has defended its response to the crisis. 

‘While the media would rather speculate about outrageous claims of palace intrigue, President Trump and this Administration remain completely focused on the health and safety of the American people with around the clock work to slow the spread of the virus, expand testing, and expedite vaccine development,’ Judd Deere, a spokesman for the president, said. 

Overall it took 70 days - about two months - for Trump to finally seriously act on the virus and initiate lockdown measures and stay at home orders from when he first learned about the virus in January

Overall it took 70 days - about two months - for Trump to finally seriously act on the virus and initiate lockdown measures and stay at home orders from when he first learned about the virus in January

Overall it took 70 days – about two months – for Trump to finally seriously act on the virus and initiate lockdown measures and stay at home orders from when he first learned about the virus in January

As of Sunday there are over 312,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 9,000 deaths

As of Sunday there are over 312,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 9,000 deaths

As of Sunday there are over 312,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 9,000 deaths

‘Because of the President’s leadership we will emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with a prosperous and growing economy.’ 

For months the president downplayed the seriousness of the virus.

Days after Azar’s warning Trump told reporters ‘we have it [the coronavirus] totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control.’

Then in February the optimistic president boasted the virus would be gone by April.

He even described the deadly bug as a ‘new hoax’ cooked up by Democrats in light of the upcoming presidential election.

Only in March did the president seem to crack down and initiate stay at home orders and mobilize legislation to help unemployed Americans as businesses shut down and the number of virus-stricken citizens skyrocketed.

In the US there are over 312,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 9,000 deaths. 

The US’ Head Surgeon says the worst is yet to come and the next two weeks will be the most catastrophic for the nation.  

In total the White House anticipates between 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the virus.  

Link hienalouca.com

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