“Top health officials first learned of the virus’s spread in China on January 3, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Post — and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19.
All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the coronavirus “is very well under control in our country,” and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses.
Privately, Trump reportedly rebutted health and intelligence officials’ attempts to get him to take action to prepare communities in the US while rebuking officials who were delivering sober risk assessments.”
“Trump is finally taking the virus more seriously, but it’s still unclear how widespread the effects of delays in action will be.”
“Officials said the massive hack by the members of China’s People’s Liberation Army underscored Beijing’s aggressive pattern of stealing private data to improve its intelligence operations and boost the performance of its domestic companies.”
“Chinese spies have ramped up espionage-focused hacking in recent years. Their targets — including the Office of Personnel Management and the health insurance titan Anthem — reflect Beijing’s desire to amass dossiers on Americans, especially those with security clearances, in the hope of compromising them.
The Justice Department charged two Chinese hackers with the Anthem breach, and U.S. officials have privately blamed China for the devastating OPM intrusion. Intelligence officials have also linked Beijing to other major cyberattacks, including the Marriott hack that exposed the personal data of roughly 500 million people.
“At the FBI we’ve been saying for years that China will do anything it can to replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower,” Bowdich said. “This indictment is about more than targeting just an American business. It’s about the brazen theft of sensitive personal information of nearly 150 million Americans.””