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January 1, U.S. Intel Reports Warned of a Pandemic in January



This Day in History | 1983

The Pentagon awards a contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

There’s more evidence today that U.S. officials including the those in the Trump administration were warned about the possibility of a pandemic landing in America, and yet, lawmakers downplayed those reports.  

The Department of Justice is considering sweeping new powers that would allow judges to hold people in detention without a trial. This something that hasn’t really been considered since Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War.

We also have a report today with more information about how the world may look once we start to exit this crisis.  The thing is, that exit looks like it’s a long way off.  The coronavirus threat will continue to loom for months or even years before mass vaccinations or natural immunities will eliminate its dangers. 

Finally today, millions of American kids are home from school and day care centers due to the coronavirus.  It’s an very stressful time for parents. And tragically, that stress is leading to increased reports of severe child abuse at one Dallas area hospital. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Intelligence Officials’ Early Alarms About Possible Pandemic Went Unheeded

(Washington Post) – 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.

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, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. 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.

Read more here

DOJ Seeks New Emergency Powers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

(Politico) – The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.

Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions.

Find out more here

Coronavirus ‘Exit Strategy’ Could be Months — or Years — Away

(NY Post) – Learn to love your lockdown, experts say — because it may not end anytime soon.

The coronavirus threat will continue to loom for months or even years before mass vaccinations or natural immunities will eliminate its dangers, according to the BBC.

“We do have a big problem in what the exit strategy is and how we get out of this,” said epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh. “No country has an exit strategy.”

President Trump has refused to say how long policies of social distancing will have to last.

“We’ll have to see what the results are at the end of 14 days, let’s say,” he said Friday — one week after launching the national strategy to tamp down the spread of the virus.

Learn more here

Texas Hospital Sees Spike in Severe Child Abuse Cases Over Last Week

(NBC Dallas) – Doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth say stress from the coronavirus pandemic may be linked to the six cases of child abuse they saw this week, one resulting in death.

Dr. Jayme Coffman, medical director of the CARE team at Cook Children’s, said all six cases were related to physical abuse.

They typically consult about eight a month.

“Thursday night, we had one child admitted with unfortunately, life-threatening injuries, which they succumbed to, as well as four other children in the emergency department at the same time who were treated and released,” Coffman said. “It was like, we have to reach out to the community.”

Coffman said all of the children were 6 years old or younger. Though she said they could not say with full certainty the impacts of COVID-19 motivated the abuse, “it’s hard to think that it’s just coincidental”.

Read more here

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