Defense Official Shoots Down ABC Report Alleging Trump Admin Ignored Virus Warnings

April 9th, 2020 10:13 AM

ABC is quietly sweeping under the rug their own sensational report they hyped all day Wednesday, which suggested the Trump administration ignored warnings of an impending pandemic, back in November. That report is now in dispute, as the very military intelligence agency which ABC’s unnamed sources cited, has come out denying the existence of such an intelligence assessment.

During Wednesday’s Good Morning America, co-anchor Michael Strahan breathlessly touted the “exclusive” report ABC had acquired, alleging that the military's “National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and the White House late last year about the spread of coronavirus in China.” On the screen read, "Missed warning signs? Sources: Intelligence officials warned of crisis as early as November." Correspondent Cecilia Vega also suggested President Trump was lying about when he knew about the virus spread:

So, it was just yesterday that President Trump said no one had even heard of the virus two months ago but we are now learning that as far back as late November American military medical investigators overseas sounded the alarm to officials right here at home about a contagion sweeping through Wuhan. Those concerns that the virus could be devastated were detailed in a report and multiple sources have described that report to our team. Now, it's not just that, there were repeated briefings for policy makers across the federal government through December and by early January the warnings made it into the president's daily briefing. But it wasn't until late January that President Trump made his first public comments about this virus saying that he wasn't at all worried about it and that he had it totally under control.

Of course, this is now raising serious questions about whether the administration could have ramped up the response efforts before it actually did.

On that night's World News Tonight, anchor David Muir hyped, "ABC news reporting tonight that American intelligence officials warned the Trump administration as far back as late November about coronavirus." Both stories ended with each WH correspondent acknowledging that they had not received an official statement from the Pentagon yet responding to their story, but would keep viewers updated.

However, military intelligence officials did respond to the ABC story late Wednesday night and they refuted it. The Director of the National Center for Medical Intelligence flat out denied the damning November warning even exists. From CNN:

A defense official denied any such report existed, telling CNN, "NCMI and the Defense Intelligence Agency spent considerable time over the last 24 hours examining every possible product that could have been identified as related to this topic and have found no such product."

The Pentagon also issued a statement denying the ABC News report late Wednesday.

"As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists," Colonel Dr. R. Shane Day, director of the National Center for Medical Intelligence, said.

Despite claiming they would keep viewers updated on this story, ABC conveniently dropped the sensational story on Thursday morning. While hyping it all day Wednesday, there was not even a passing mention of that same report they were so proud of the day before, on Thursday’s Good Morning America. The only mention of the report came during ABC's 3:00AM EST show, World News Now. During a brief, Jonathan Karl admitted the NCMI have called their report "incorrect" and denied a "NCMI coronavirus product/assessment exists."

ABC was caught peddling fake news a few months ago, when they played gun range footage from Kentucky in a story that was supposed to be about ISIS bombing Kurds in Syria.

CBS was also caught using fake video in their reporting on the coronavirus. While talking about New York hospitals, the network tried to pass off footage from Italian hospitals as from the United States. While they later apologized for it and called it an “editing”mistake, they were caught using the same misleading footage, AGAIN this week.