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02 April 2020 - 12:42
News ID: 449863
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The Pentagon warned the administration of US President Donald Trump years ago about the threat of coronavirus and the subsequent shortage of medical equipment, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.

RNA - “The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan stated.

The document, titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response", specifically refers to coronavirus on several occasions, in one instant saying, “coronavirus infections [are] common around the world.”

Denis Kaufman, former head of the Infectious Diseases and Countermeasures Division at the Defense Intelligence Agency, also reiterated that the US military has been aware of coronaviruses for years.  

“The Intelligence Community has warned about the threat from highly pathogenic influenza viruses for two decades at least. They have warned about coronaviruses for at least five years,” Kaufman explained in an interview.

“There have been recent pronouncements that the coronavirus pandemic represents an intelligence failure…. it’s letting people who ignored intelligence warnings off the hook,” Kaufman added.

The 103-page response plan  also warns about the scarcity of medical equipment following the spread of the virus.

"Competition for, and scarcity of resources will include…non-pharmaceutical MCM [Medical Countermeasures] (e.g., ventilators, devices, personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves), medical equipment, and logistical support. This will have a significant impact on the availability of the global workforce,” the document stated.

Over 4,500 people have already died from covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in the United States, more than the 2,977 who died in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The total confirmed US cases has now risen to nearly 211,143.

Worldwide, there are more than 935,346 cases of the highly contagious illness and over 47,194 deaths reported.

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