The NYT writes:

Despite Mr. Trump’s denial weeks later, he was told at the time about a Jan. 29 memo produced by his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, laying out in striking detail the potential risks of a coronavirus pandemic: as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses.

What's the evidence that Trump was told that "at the time", presumably around Jan. 29, of these projections? (And did he actually deny being told that, "weeks later"? This is an article full of "bullet points" against Trump, so most points lack detailed evidence.)

1 Answer 1


The Jan. 29 memo itself is reproduced in a story by Axios. The estimate of up to half a million lives lost appears on page 2 of the memo.

We do not know in great detail which Trump advisors read or discussed this memo with Trump or exactly what they told him. It is very likely that they did discuss it with him, as he quickly moved to restrict travel from China. The Times states "It reached a number of top officials as well as aides to Mick Mulvaney, then the acting chief of staff, they said, but it was unclear whether Mr. Trump saw it." The Times story does not state that Trump was personally aware of that specific estimate you are asking about and we may never know if he was.

  • The travel restrictions were placed Jan 31, two days later.
    – user11643
    Apr 19, 2020 at 20:59

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