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Coronavirus Timeline

The coronavirus is impacting every aspect of our lives. The criminal justice system has no immunity.  As this crisis continues, and for a long time to follow, those going through the justice system will need the government’s help.

When these requests face resistance, we must show many of the consequences for which relief is sought, were the result of the government’s own actions.

2017

JANUARY 11, 2017

Dr. Fauci, speaking at a forum on pandemic preparedness at Georgetown University, makes an eerie prediction. He states President Trump will be confronted with a infectious disease outbreak.

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there is ‘no doubt’ Donald J. Trump will be confronted with a surprise infectious disease outbreak during his presidency.

Helios.com

JANUARY 13, 2017

The Obama Administration informed the incoming Trump’s about the issue of a pandemic and explained they had created pandemic playbook.

In a sober briefing, Trump’s incoming team learned that the disease was an emerging pandemic — a strain of novel influenza known as H9N2 — and that health systems were crashing in Asia, overwhelmed by the demand.

Toosi, Lippman and Diamond | Politico.com

2018

FEBBRUARY 1, 2018

Trump Administration announced its plan to reduce it efforts to fight global pandemics by 80%.

Four years after the United States pledged to help the world fight infectious-disease epidemics such as Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dramatically downsizing its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out, U.S. government officials said.

Lena H. Sun | Washington Post

FEBBRUARY 13, 2018

United States Intelligence Community, through DNI Dan Coats, released an assessment identifying corona-viruses as having pandemic potential.

A novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be a major threat, with pathogens such as H5N1 and H7N9 influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus having pandemic potential if they were to acquire efficient human-to-human transmissibility.

Worldwide Threat Assessment

MAY 10, 2018

Under John Bolton's direction the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense was dissovled.

Its mission was the same as when I was asked to lead the office, established after the Ebola epidemic of 2014: to do everything possible within the vast powers and resources of the U.S. government to prepare for the next disease outbreak and prevent it from becoming an epidemic or pandemic.

One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19.

Beth Cameron | Washington Post

2019

JANUARY - MAY, 2019

Crimson Contagion Simulation: the Trump Administration ran a pandemic simulation. The result concluded the U.S. was not prepared for the coming pandemic.

"The simulation’s sobering results — contained in a draft report dated October 2019 that has not previously been reported — drove home just how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government would be for a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed."

Sanger, Lipton, Sullivan and Crowley | New York Times

JULY 2019

Trump administration eliminates a position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based in China that experts say could have led to earlier knowledge of the coronavirus outbreak.

The American disease expert, a medical epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency, left her post in July, according to four sources with knowledge of the issue. The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November, and as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.

Marisa Taylor | Reuters

OCTOBER 2019

An essential federal program, called "PREDICT," for the tracking dangerous diseases is shut down.

Ever since the 2005 H5N1 bird flu scare, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has run a project to track and research these diseases, called Predict. At a cost of $207 million during its existence, the program has collected more than 100,000 samples and found nearly 1,000 novel viruses, including a new Ebola virus.

But on Friday, the New York Times reported that the US government is shutting down the program. According to its former director Dennis Carroll, the program enjoyed enthusiastic support under Bush and Obama, but “things got complicated” in the last few years until the program “essentially collapsed.”

Kelsey Piper | VOX

December 31, 2019

The World Health Organization announces there is a mysterious pneumonia in China.

2020

JANUARY 2020

Trump Administration begins receiving intelligence briefings with warnings that coronavirus was likely to result in a global pandemic.

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

Harris, Miller, Dawsey and Nakashima
| Washinton Post

JANUARY 2020

Trump Administration declines to use the WHO coronavirus tests. The FDA also stood in the way of private testing development.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, 60, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, enforced regulations that paradoxically made it tougher for hospitals, private clinics and companies to deploy diagnostic tests in an emergency.

Shear, Goodnough, Kaplan, Fink, Thomas and Weiland | New York Times Tweet

The C.D.C. gave little thought to adopting the test being used by the W.H.O. The C.D.C.’s test was working in its own lab — still processing samples from states — which gave agency officials confidence. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the agency’s principal deputy director, would later say that the C.D.C. did not think “we needed somebody else’s test.”

Shear, Goodnough, Kaplan, Fink, Thomas and Weiland | New York Times Tweet

JANUARY 22, 2020

Trump told a reporter he was not concerned about the coronavirus becoming a pandemic and said it was "totally under control."

 

FEBRUARY 5, 2020

Senator Chris Murphy publicly raised concerns that the Trump Administration's response to the coronavirus was inadequate.

“…Bottom line: they aren’t taking this seriously enough.”

FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Trump Administration helps the transportation of 17.8 tons of privately donated medical equipment and PPE to China.

This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials. These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.

Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State| Press Release

FEBRUARY 21 2020

Trump Administration overrides the CDC. It orders that 14 passengers infected with the coronavirus be flown home in a plane full of uninfected people.

But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagreed, contending they could still spread the virus. The CDC believed the 14 should not be flown back with uninfected passengers.

Sun, Bernstein, Mahtani and Achenbach | Washington Post

FEBRUARY 26, 2020

President Trump states we will have a "shot" for this "fairly quick."

But that’s a little bit like the flu. It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.

Trump | Brady Press Briefing Room February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

58 Confirmed Cases

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources

FEBRUARY 27, 2020

President Trump states the coronavirus would be disappear.

“It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”

Trump | February 27, 2020

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

President Trump refers to the coronavirus as a "hoax"during a campaign rally in South Carolina.

February 28, 2020

68 Confirmed Cases

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources

MARCH 18, 2020

President Trump signs an executive order regarding the Defense Production Act to address massive shortages in PPE and ventilators. However, he would not invoke it for 9 days.

Section 1. Policy and Findings. On March 13, 2020, I declared a national emergency recognizing the threat that the novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 poses to our national security. In recognizing the public health risk, I noted that on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the outbreak of COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2) can be characterized as a pandemic.

Trump | Executive Order

March 18, 2020

13,700 Confirmed Cases

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources

MARCH 27, 2020

President Trump suggests that the federal government would only provide aid to governors battling the coronavirus outbreak if they "treat us well also."

March 27, 2020

121,500 Confirmed Cases

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resources

If we are willing to be honest with ourselves about this today – then we can start saving lives – today.

Lawrence Koplow is an attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. His practice focuses on the defense of DUI and Vehicular Crimes. He is also a published author concerning these areas of the law and a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Follow Lawrence on Twitter (@lawkop)

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