WASHINGTON, May 4. /TASS/. Reports claiming that US intelligence first warned US President Donald Trump about the danger of the novel coronavirus in early January are false, Trump said on Sunday on Twitter.
"Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct, and that they did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the U.S. Also, they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner," Trump wrote. "Fake News got it wrong again, as always, and tens of thousands of lives were saved by my EARLY BAN of China into our Country. The people that we’re allowed were heavily scrutinized and tested U.S. citizens, and as such, I welcome them with open arms!" he continued.
Earlier, The Washington Post reported that US intelligence had repeatedly informed Trump about the threat of the virus, with the first such message sent to the US administration as early as January 3.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
According to the latest statistics, over 3,400,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 240,000 deaths have been reported. According to Johns Hopkins University, there are over 1.15 mln COVID-19 cases in the USA, with over 67,000 people dead.