"President Trump has taken historic, aggressive measures to protect the health, wealth and safety of the American people — and did so, while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment."

"It’s more than disgusting, despicable and disgraceful for cowardly unnamed sources to attempt to rewrite history — it’s a clear threat to this great country."

Said a White House spokesman statement, quoted in The Washington Post, which sought a response for its article, "U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic." From the article, published last night:
The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take.... But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak....

But despite that constant flow of reporting, Trump continued publicly and privately to play down the threat the virus posed to Americans. Lawmakers, too, did not grapple with the virus in earnest until this month....
To be fair, "lawmakers" were very preoccupied with the impeachment of the President.
Inside the White House, Trump’s advisers struggled to get him to take the virus seriously, according to multiple officials with knowledge of meetings among those advisers and with the president. [Health and Human Services Secretary Alex] Azar couldn’t get through to Trump to speak with him about the virus until Jan. 18, according to two senior administration officials....

On Jan. 27, White House aides huddled with then-acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in his office, trying to get senior officials to pay more attention to the virus, according to people briefed on the meeting Mulvaney then began convening more regular meetings....
Just so you know the timeline: Trump was caught up in an impeachment trial and was not acquitted until February 5th. He had the obligation to perform all his duties as President while dealing with the impeachment, but it sounds as though the White House was working on the virus throughout January, whether Trump did personal meetings with Azar or not.

WaPo quotes some of Trump's early public statements about the virus, and, indeed, he did express optimism. He's still doing optimism. How that correlates to serious protective action for us is another matter.

And here's a WaPo article from January 21st, 11 days before the aquittal: "Trump administration announces mandatory quarantines in response to coronavirus."
The White House declared a “public health emergency” and — beginning on Sunday at 5 p.m. — will bar non-U.S. citizens who recently visited China from entering the United States, subject to a few exemptions.... Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also said the Trump administration would quarantine any Americans who had visited China’s Hubei province, where the disease originated, within the past 14 days....

President Trump so far has remained uncharacteristically muted on the coronavirus and praised China’s extraordinary response to the growing outbreak. On Wednesday, he tweeted photos of his Situation Room briefing and said his administration was working closely with China to contain the outbreak....
That happened at a time when the World Health Organization was recommending that there be no travel restrictions.

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